13 NEW YORK STARTUPS WITH THE COOLEST OFFICE FEATURES YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED

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13 NEW YORK STARTUPS WITH THE COOLEST OFFICE FEATURES YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED.

From Baltimore to Washington, D.C., the quest for some of the coolest office attributes continues. These 13 companies hail from New York City, where beautiful buildings and architecture fill every block. This time, we looked for companies that had a specific feature that makes their office truly unique–a standout quality that really differentiates them and lets their brand shine.

However, we intentionally looked for offices that are mostly non-mainstream, so don’t expect to see the Google, Facebook, or Apple offices in here. In fact, you may not know any of these businesses, but they have all excelled in creative execution while being budget-conscious. Thanks again to Gabe Marans and Ryan Miller of commercial real estate company Savills Studley for the help in uncovering these offices and sharing their insights.

13. Artsy

Artsy is the online resource for art collecting and education.

Standout Quality: Glassbowl, panoramic views

From the insider:

“I think the views give a lot of perspective to the work that we do. To
look out the window and see the city so big–that is just a fraction of
the people our mission applies to.” –​ Barbara Moreira, gallery relations lead

From the expert:

“Located in a part of town where office buildings mostly top out after eight stories, Artsy boasts 360 degree vistas from the 27th floor. Even on cloudy days, the multi-floor space takes on the character of a sunny California-esque vibe with abundant sunlight, healthy snacks provided by Oh My Green, and an open culture embodied by wunderkind Carter Cleveland.” –​ Gabe Marans, Savills Studley​.

12. Outbrain

Outbrain is a content discovery and marketing platform.

Standout Quality: The Fishbowl

NGN 6311 2

From the insider:

“Outbrain is that rare workplace that places a value on work/life
balance. As a working mother, this is something I find extremely
important. Additionally, it is clear that Outbrain is interested in
addressing the women in tech issue with initiatives like WE, and this is
something I value in a workplace.” –​ Jennifer Bassett, managing editor

From the expert:

“How does an established 400-person company continue to embrace an ethos of innovation? Through the promotion of independent initiatives spearheaded by their loyal employee base. And where better to showcase Outbrain’s encouragement of these grassroot initiatives but in a centrally located glass-enclosed conference room nicknamed ‘the Fishbowl.’ It is here that Veronica Gonzalez and her highly motivated team are planning a further rollout of their Women’s Group. Through literal transparency and executive encouragement, the Fishbowl is positioned to retain a place in Outbrain’s cultural lore” –​ Gabe Marans

11. Yext

Yext allows businesses to manage your digital knowledge in the cloud.

Standout Quality: Community

Entry

From the insider:

“Yext brings people together outside of their day-to-day to build
community and keep things fun, whether it’s bringing in political and
business leaders for Yext Talks, pizza and beer on Fridays, or our Fun
Room and fantastic snack selection. One thing that people really value
is Manifesto, our weekly meeting where the CEO speaks to the whole
company and really follows through on his promise of running a
transparent and open organization.” –​ Mason Bradbury, director, global sales and partner enablement

From the expert:

“With an enviable office perched over Madison Square Park, one might think that Yext’s management would commandeer its prime window line for their own use. Yet the generous frontage is dedicated to common shared space, alternatively used as an eatery, town hall, or ad hoc meeting space. On a recent visit, the bright, open space resembled a bustling college cafeteria, with different spheres of activity loudly interacting with an infectious energy”          — ​Gabe Marans.

10. WayUp

WayUp provides jobs and internships for college students and recent grads.

Standout Quality: Guest speaker of the week

From the insider:

“I love hearing from industry experts, and deeply enjoy how these ‘Lunch & Learn’ sessions not only give me new ideas for my own role, but also open up new dialogue with my co-workers.” –​ Emily Hochman, brand innovation manager

From the expert:

“This energetic workplace reflects the bootstrap origins of the founders’ vision. The weekly high-profile guest speakers underline an ethos of continued learning that is also reflected in WayUp’s conference room strategy, named after select universities where WayUp has helped place students for full time employment” –​ Gabe Marans

9. Bark

Bark is a provider of dog-themed products and technology (most notably, their monthly subscription service, BarkBox).

Standout Quality: “Barkitecture”

bark

From the insider:

“Our Scandinavian-styled space is reflective of our values and the products we create–fun, smart, and well-designed with ‘barkitecture’–our approach of doing everything from a dog’s eye view.” –​ Henrik Werdelin, co-founder

From the expert:

“A giddy wave of positive vibes lifts visitors upon entering Bark’s office space. Dogs of all shapes, sizes, and sounds cover the office, acting as (wo)man’s best friend. The corresponding relaxed environment contributes to a collegial work energy, although, in true dog-lover spirit, employees are referred to as parents of X dog.” –​ Ryan Miller, Savills Studley​

8. TheSkimm

TheSkimm is an American media company.

Standout Quality: Library

the Skimm

From the insider:

“We have a literal overflow of booze and books…our co-founders are
always telling us to take extras home. It keeps my mind fresh and my
weekends more fun.” –​ Andrew Greenberg, hashtag Skimm’r

From the expert:

“TheSkimm’s office hums like a newsroom but feels like a parlor meeting. Lining one wall are empty champagne bottles marking the still-young company’s successes. And across the office is an overflowing library that, through its diverse titles, neatly illustrates the unique tone and style of the company’s fast-growing daily newsletter. Small groups of employees huddle around the library, discussing upcoming stories and events, clearly seeking inspiration from the mix of New York Times bestsellers and romance novels. Diversity of thought is a clear driver in the space.” –​ Gabe Marans

7. Mekanism

Mekanism is an award-winning marketing and advertising agency.

Standout Quality: Rooftop

Mekanism

From the insider:

“From brainstorming sessions to yoga sessions, we use our rooftop as a space to center ourselves and connect with one another–on both a professional and personal level. We of course have to use it to our advantage, and every summer we host an epic summer rooftop party.” –​ Melissa Hill, director of brand management

From the expert:

“Many companies boast of terraces, but few, and Mekanism is one, incorporate theirs in such a prominent way that directly reflects a culture of openness and creativity. On a recent visit this spring, the terrace was full of small clusters of busy employees who, after warmly greeting us, quickly faded back into their collaborations. This agency is no joke.” –​ Ryan Miller.

6. Kaltura

Kaltura provides video solutions for media, service providers, enterprises, and education.

Standout Quality: Uncanny space utilization

Kaltura

From the insider:

“Kaltura’s a great place to work because we’ve managed to reach almost 100-square feet per employee in a single contiguous space, with plenty of room to bounce ideas off each other. It’s amazing being able to casually start conversations between sales, customer support, product, and QA without any barriers. How often can a Flatiron area office boast that?” –​ Rebecca Rozakis, director of marketing

From the expert:

“Management has carefully constructed a non-hierarchical culture that is mirrored in the workplace design. Different departments interact constantly, and despite their high employee count, Kaltura is amazingly efficient in their use of space and the lack of obstructed sight lines. There is a quiet, intense energy on the floor–something that would usually be expected of a small company, but is mirrored even with Kaltura’s size and growth.” –​ Gabe Marans

5. Custora

Custora is an advanced customer segmentation platform built for retail.

Standout Quality: Collaborative kitchen

Custora

From the insider:

“It’s our people that make Custora special, not fancy gadgets or gizmos–though we’ve got those too. In fact, when I asked a few folks ‘What makes Custora’s office great?’ they were unanimous in describing the feeling of warmth and a welcoming, genuine vibe that makes the office a nice place to hang out, even on the weekends. It’s not something you hear–or see–in an ‘office’ very often.” –​ Erin Hubbard, people operations

From the expert:

“In a city with a seemingly countless number of identical creative spaces with exposed ceilings and open plans, Custora focuses on the meticulous details which emphasize their uniquely collaborative culture. The focal point of the office is the sizable kitchen/eatery where, in an effort to encourage continued collaboration, the tables are lined with disposable construction paper to facilitate note taking. This is a company that encourages spontaneous creative thought on a new level” –​ Gabe Marans

4. Ceros

Ceros is an interactive content creation platform.

Standout Quality: “The Pub”

Ceros - The Pub

From the insider:

“In many ways, the Pub is the heart and soul of Ceros, and a fantastic perk of working here. It’s a great place to retreat to during the day if you need a little peace and quiet, and in the evenings, it becomes a really cozy environment for unwinding with your co-workers. It’s also the perfect excuse to invite clients over to the office.” –​Jack Dixon, creative director

From the expert:

“Company culture often follows the lead of founders, and the executive team and Ceros is no different. Having just moved to a space twice as large as its previous space, the British CEO has constructed an elaborate British pub, replete with draft beer. It’s as if Ceros’ management wants to make it as difficult as possible for their employees to ever want to leave the office.”          — ​Gabe Marans

3. Mark43

Mark43‘s platform unites a set of software tools securely in the cloud, making access to reliable and actionable information a reality for first responders.

Standout Quality: A line to remember

Mark43

From the insider:

“As a company that builds software for law enforcement officers and first responders, it was important to incorporate design elements that provided small hints of commemoration to these brave individuals. The thin blue line that runs along the office is a reminder of those who have lost their lives while protecting our communities. Visual cues of the mission-critical work we are doing really help keep us engaged and energized as we grow the company.”     — ​Bridget Martin, recruiting manager

From the expert:

“A ‘thin blue line’ paints the walls of the spacious office, declaring to all who are witness of the company’s roots and its future trajectory. The hushed respect near this design is a reflection of the company’s powerful ethos.”         — ​Gabe Marans

2. Zeel

Zeel brings you the highest quality and most convenient massages.

Standout Quality: Massage room

Zeel Massage room

From the insider:

“At Zeel, enabling people to integrate the wellness benefits of massage
into their busy lives is vitally important to us. That’s never clearer
than in our Zeel Massage room, where employees can enjoy a rejuvenating
table or chair massage delivered to the office in as little as an hour.” — ​Eva Carey, national Zeel Massage therapist director

From the expert:

“As a customer of Zeel’s premium service, the office space mirrors the offering of their core massage-on-demand product. A relaxed, yet industrious energy permeates the high ceiling, brightly lit floor. For those having a particularly rough day, CEO Samer Hamadeh dreamed up an oasis room for brief respite as Zeel marches toward dominating market share” –​ Gabe Marans

1. Capsule

Capsule is a better, smarter, kinder pharmacy.

Standout Quality: Pharmacy (actually in the office)

Capsule Pharmacy

From the insider:

“I joined the pharmacy experience program to be at the
frontlines of our business. I partner with teams across our organization
to build a brand and end-to-end experience that our consumers and
doctors love. I loved the exposure of the program and all of the
different pieces of the business I got to experience from inside the
pharmacy.” –​ Tali Prince, operations senior associate

From the expert:

“This fast-growing startup has an unbridled energy in an obscure ground floor retail space in Chelsea. Hidden in the back of the space is a sizable, and fully functioning, pharmacy, which supplies the medications that fuel Capsule’s rocket-like growth.” –​ Gabe Marans

Honorable Mentions

Beyond

Beyond is a design and technology ideas company.

Standout Quality: Friday breakfast club

Beyond

From the expert:

“Beyond’s uniquely located office space doesn’t only stand out due to its location, penthouse set up, or enviable roof deck. Their culture, which is tightly woven into their use of the space, would appear indistinguishable from their physical surroundings. Yet it is Beyond’s weekly Friday breakfast club that captures the full collegiality of the employee experience.” — ​Ryan Miller

Fareportal

Fareportal powers the technology of travel.

Standout Quality: Kitchen 2.0 (anticipated)

fareportal2

From the expert:

What do you get when you combine a tech company with a culture of bootstrapping? An inventive real estate thinker who is leading the charge to increase both the aesthetic design of inherited office space and increase the recruitment attraction for the company. And where better to start than with currently-being-renovated pantries and game rooms? Rob Durso, Fareportal’s multi-talented guru, has found ways to bring an old-line internet business into the new age of workplace design–all while keeping a close eye on the budget.” –​ Gabe Marans

Alfred

Hello Alfred is the trusted operating system for your home, powered by technology and exceptional service.

Standout Quality: Livable townhouse, a.k.a. “HomeQuarters”

IMG_1844

From the expert:

“How should the office space look for a company focused on providing home management services? Alfred has figured it out. Commandeering the top two floors of an old Flatiron townhouse, employees have the choice to huddle around the fireplace or a fully functioning kitchen as they strategize on exciting new steps for the company. And the heavily used roof deck? Just an added bonus perfect for an after-work beer.” –​ Gabe Marans

   BY TOM POPOMARONIS/ SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR

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