The 15 Best Startups To Work For In America

For startups, workplace culture and employee valuesare often just as important as what the companies actually do.

That’s because young companies, unconstrained by a traditional corporate structure, have the power to shape their own culture and mission as they get their businesses off the ground.

In an effort to highlight those organisations that have been especially dedicated to their people and culture, office design company turnstone, which
focuses on small and emerging businesses, partnered with Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, to compile a list of the best young companies to work for.

To determine the list, turnstone asked for nominations of companies that were 10-years-old or younger and employed 100 people or fewer. (Companies were not allowed to nominate themselves.) Then, a panel of judges sorted through the prospects and selected the 15 best based on four main criteria: Business goals and impact, leadership, the culture and office space, and success potential, a measure of the business’s ability to grow and how that growth could contribute positively to the community.

The winners are spread across the U.S., from Detroit to Austin and Kansas City, and feature a range of industries, including e-commerce, video production, and fitness and health. But most importantly, all stand out for prioritizing office culture and working to create an environment where employees can thrive.


What it is: An e-commerce office and school supply company that funnels 5% of all sales directly back to teachers

Where it's located: Detroit, Mich.

Why it's a great place to work: Team members are encouraged to make the greatest impact in the local community and beyond. The team has monthly 'culture outings,' which have previously included ice skating, sushi-making classes, and Segway-ing around Detroit.


What it is: A cloud cost analytics company that lets users monitor, manage, and communicate about their cloud spending

Where it's located: Portland, Ore.

Why it's a great place to work: Cloudability offers employees and their families 100% paid health care, generous stock options, and no formal vacation policy. The company frequently hosts events such as monthly happy hours and semiannual off-site retreats.


What it is: A social media company that builds the social influence of celebrities and brands, and helps connect them to their fans and consumers

Where it's located: Los Angeles, Calif.

Why it's a great place to work: Fanology schedules regular team-building activities, such as a high ropes course, and provides one-on-one mentoring. The team also has tea every day at 4 p.m.


What it is: A fitness, health, and happiness digital media startup

Where it's located: New York, N.Y.

Why it's a great place to work: Employees get a free corporate gym membership, participate in weekly fitness classes around the city, and have access to tons of healthy food and snacks in the office.

Groove Commerce

What it is: A creative digital agency with a focus on eCommerce, web design, inbound marketing, and branding

Where it's located: Baltimore, Md.

Why it's a great place to work: Groove Commerce offers 100% paid benefits and hosts 'Free Friday Lunches,' where employees get one-on-one time with CEO Ethan Giffin.

What it is: An event marketing platform and syndication network powering local event discovery

Where it's located: Kansas City, Kan.

Why it's a great place to work: lives by the work hard, play hard mantra. Employee perks include lake outings, happy hours, laser tag, and catered lunches. The company also lets everyone from interns to full-time employees take advantage of workshops, hackathons, and meetup groups in the Kansas City area.

nexus IT group

What it is: An IT staffing agency

Where it's located: Overland Park, Kan.

Why it's a great place to work: The nexus IT group office houses a putting green, foosball tables, and a basketball hoop. The company has no hierarchies and the senior-most individuals sit and work with the team's newest members on a daily basis.

Parking Panda

What it is: A company that helps consumers find, reserve, and pay for parking from their computer or mobile phone

Where it's located: Baltimore, Md.

Why it's a great place to work: Parking Panda offers quarterly Uber credits to employees, hosts company retreats at the beach, and holds sponsored restaurant outings.


What it is: An online platform that helps local business marketers acquire customers and harness customer data to make retention marketing more relevant and effective

Where it's located: Boston, Mass.

Why it's a great place to work: Privy holds a once-a-month 'lunch and learn' where the company brings in an investor or successful founder to have fireside chats with the team.


What it is: A company building mobile applications that give you real-time information about the people around you

Where it's located: Washington, D.C.

Why it's a great place to work: SocialRadar team members eat together, work out together, and attend industry events together to stay connected and relevant in the community.


What it is: An online marketplace for self-storage, making it easy to find, compare, and book the best storage space

Where it's located: Austin, Tex.

Why it's a great place to work: Employee benefits include a full-time chef who cooks daily fresh meals, a no-policy vacation policy, fully paid insurance for employees and their families, games throughout the office, sake bomb events and monthly happy hours, and a full kitchen with a bar.


What it is: A video production and marketing studio

Where it's located: Costa Mesa, Calif.

Why it's a great place to work: Sparkhouse gives its employees free access to its film equipment (cameras, lighting, studios) for them to use on personal, outside projects. The company also offers flexible working hours and team lunches with the founders every Friday.


What it is: A social media management platform that provides businesses with three key social media capabilities: engagement, publishing, and analytics

Where it's located: Chicago, Ill.

Why it's a great place to work: Sproutsocial offers employees monthly (or weekly) happy hours, themed parties, free daily lunches, and continuous Ping-Pong games.

Sputnik Creative

What it is: A full-service digital and branding studio

Where it's located: Austin, Tex.

Why it's a great place to work: The work environment encourages collaboration with people outside of the core team, sharing one studio with a rotating cast of guest talent (invite only).

Thanx Media

What it is: An enterprise technology company delivering fully-integrated, web-based e-commerce solutions

Where it's located: Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Why it's a great place to work: Thanx Media encourages employees to challenge themselves and make mistakes. The company is passionate about helping the local start-up community and hosts regular meetups at its new space.

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