Company Profile

No.10

InstaBrand

This social media startup is reinventing how big brands advertise

Industry
Business Products & Services
Location
Los Angeles, California
Year Founded
2013
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

InstaBrand works as the middle man that connects brands with social media influencers (essentially, those who have a large Web presence and an outrageously high number of followers) to sell their products. A company looking to promote its line of accessories, for instance, may have Instagram influencers post a picture of themselves wearing one of the brand's necklaces. InstaBrand's primary goal is to bring the human element back into advertising. The company has a network of about 100,000 influencers (defined as users who have more than 10,000 followers per social media platform) and counts major names such as Airbnb and Fossil as brand clients. One of the biggest challenges InstaBrand will face will be to maintain the "organic" feel of its ad campaigns, as social media users are inundated with more and more sponsored posts.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

No.11

Jopwell

These former Wall Street analysts are tackling America's diversity issue

Industry
Human Resources
Location
New York City, New York
Year Founded
2015
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

The recruiting firm tackles the lack of diversity in the U.S. work force by connecting African American, Native American, and Hispanic job candidates with major companies in industries such as technology, finance, and health care. Co-founders Ryan Williams and Porter Braswell met when they worked together on Wall Street. As African Americans working in finance, both felt frustrated with the industry's troubling diversity problem, and were then inspired to launch Jopwell. For a flat fee, employers can access thousands of profiles for qualified candidates of color. To date, Jopwell has facilitated over 6,000 "connections" (meaning contact made between job seekers and HR reps), and counts Facebook, BuzzFeed, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley among its clients.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

No.12

LuminAID

The disaster-inspired startup every Shark wanted a piece of

Industry
Consumer Products & Services
Location
Chicago, Illinois
Year Founded
2012
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

In early 2010, during her second year in architecture school at Columbia University, Anna Stork was having trouble focusing on her thesis. A catastrophic 7.0 earthquake had just struck Haiti, and she couldn't get her mind off it. She wanted to help. A few months after teaming up with classmate Andrea Sreshta, the two had scraped together recycled materials and purchased some electrical components from Amazon.com and Radio Shack. They hand-prototyped an inflatable lantern. The following year they filed for patents of their inventions--and with that, set up a company called LuminAid. The product is a rechargeable solar-powered LED lantern that inflates like a balloon, and collapses to become thinner than a deck of cards. The lanterns are made of non-toxic waterproof plastic, and they float. To mountain climbers, it's a handy piece of cool gear (the Packlight 16, which retails for $24.95, can provide 30 hours of continuous light after a seven-hour charge). But to first-responders and victims of natural disasters, it's a lifesaver. More than 50,000 LuminAid lanterns have been deployed across 70 countries, to refugees and in areas affected by such catastrophic events as 2012's Hurricane Sandy, 2013's Typhoon Haiyan, and the Nepalese earthquakes of 2015. The business backing this social mission is strong: It anticipates more than $5 million in sales this year.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

No.13

LUMI Organics

To break into the juice business, this startup applied 87,000 pounds of pressure

Industry
Food & Beverage
Location
Charlottesville, Virginia
Year Founded
2013
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Hillary Lewis founded Lumi Organics as an MBA student in 2013 after a chance discovery turned her on to the potential of the organic juice industry. The company's name comes from the phrase "Love You, Mean It!" which she and friends had been using as a greeting for years. With a method known as high-pressure processing, Lumi produces 13 flavors of fruit and vegetable juice that are rich in nutrients, low in sugar, and free of harmful microorganisms. The Charlottesville, Virginia, business sells $8 dollar bottles of Belmont Beet, Piedmont Pineapple, and other varieties nationwide at grocery chains, in fitness studios, and through its website. It also has become a favorite in the locker rooms of professional sports teams such as the New York Yankees and the Washington Wizards. Lumi now employs 18 people, almost all women. Lewis's funding has come exclusively from her friends, but she expects an additional investment soon through a strategic partnership. Last year the company generated $1 million in sales.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16

No.14

MATI Energy

From dinky dorm kitchen to burgeoning energy drink empire

Location
Durham, North Carolina
Year Founded
2012
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Five years ago, in a Duke University dorm room, something unusual was brewing. It was tea designed to eke out every bit of caffeine and antioxidants its little leaves contained. The brewmaster was undergrad Tatiana Birgisson, who had an aversion to coffee, but wanted a healthy energy booster. Soon, she was hauling kegs of her concoction in her two-door Toyota Yaris to small local businesses, whose employees preferred it to Red Bull. Over the past few years the half-Icelandic, half-Venezuelan U.S. citizen has turned from dorm-room tinkerer to the chief executive of Mati Energy, the maker of the health-drink-energy-drink hybrid of the same name that's expected to bring in $1 million in revenue this year (the company is valued at $5.5 million). The unique product is a lightly carbonated fruit-juice and guayusa tea blend. It is sold in Whole Foods across the Southeast U.S., and soon will be on the shelves of Kroeger and Costco.
Note: All data as of 1/31/16