The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America as startup companies continue to dominate the business marketplace and give people hope for their next billion dollar idea. Apple, Facebook, Amazon and YouTube are great examples of successful startups — in simple terms, it’s a business with a unique product or service to sell that’s in its infancy stage, usually supported by silent investors who provide seed money to get it off the ground.
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Each year, career networking platform LinkedIn publishes their Top Startups report as part of their LinkedIn List franchise, ranking the 50 most promising startups to work for and “spotlighting the leading companies embracing innovation and the future of work” while also showing trends in the sector.
There are both global and U.S. rankings. Eligibility requirements to make the cut for the U.S. Top Startups list must include that the company is based in America, is no more than 7 years old, has a minimum staff of 50 people and is completely independent. As well, the startup must have at least 10% employee growth for the year. For 2022, that timeline was established as July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.
LinkedIn then assesses and ranks the businesses based on four factors: “Employment growth, engagement with the company and its employees, job interest and ability to attract talent from companies on the LinkedIn Top Companies list.”
The candidates for this year’s list showed some interesting commonalities and emerging trends for the most promising startup ideas of the future — and no surprise, most of them deal with leading technology.
Emerging Trends for 2022 Startups
First and foremost, healthcare is leading the way in new and innovative startup companies, which aligns with the growing demand among consumers for more wellness options and greater benefits as mainstream healthcare costs continue to surge.
Among the companies on LinkedIn’s Top Startups List for 2022 there are 10 health-focused businesses, a few of which offer coveted virtual mental health care visits, or digital dental appointments. There are also startups that cater to marginalized demographics like one that offers gender affirming hormonal replacement therapy treatments. A fertility support startup and another offering more access to eating disorder treatments round out the list.
Sustainable startups are another huge market as more people focus on eco-friendly measures that may help combat the effects of climate change and provide access to more natural foods and goods. One of the standouts is Once Upon A Farm, the startup founded by starlet Jennifer Garner to provide cold-pressed, organic baby food to American families. Liquid Death Mountain Water is another one — the company offers water in a can (rather than harmful plastic) and has some creative branding and partnerships in the live music and festival sector. Sustainable clothing companies, electric car innovators and several cannabis-related startups enter LinkedIn’s list for 2022 as well.
When it comes to what these top startups are looking for in potential employees and what they uniquely offer in benefits to their workforce, there have been some common themes there as well.
Rather than a college degree, as is often the standard with traditional businesses, these indie companies want creativity, critical thinking skills, honest communication and “empathy,” as listed in the job descriptions. What they offer in return as part of their benefits packages may include unique perks like free admission to art museums, access to tuition-free lifelong learning opportunities, philanthropy programs, four-day “recharge” weekends and even the chance to have a co-owned second home.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 companies that rank on LinkedIn’s Top Startups List for 2022 — and the good news is, all are hiring!
This popular app takes the No. 1 spot on LinkedIn’s list. In a virtual world, Discord allows people to “connect,” honing in on the social part of social media by allowing users to create their own communities where they can text, video message, share pics and reels and more.
The really unique part of Discord is you can create different communities to tailor your interactions — one server can be for family, one for friends, one for colleagues, etc. And, as LinkedIn mentions, the app is hiring for entry-level roles in a number of positions such as product design, safety and more.
Business sales teams can find an ally with this startup that takes the No. 2 spot on LinkedIn’s list. Using this management software will “transform sales team into stars” as they promise, allowing managers to see actions at every point in their employee pipeline.
It allows for personalized coaching and positive feedback opportunities with team members, improves and quickens onboarding for new hires and captures measurable data that sales reps can use to increase job performance. As LinkedIn adds, the startup recently rolled out a new product called Gong Forecast, “the first product of its kind to build realistic revenue forecasts based on real-time customer interactions.”
Self-described as a “career opportunity platform,” this employee-centric startup provides access to education and skill-based training that shows members of a company’s workforce how they can tangibly move forward in their career paths and reach personal job advancement milestones. For employers, it’s also meant to help build and retain a qualified workforce ready to adapt to changes in the future.
The other unique part about Guild Education is one of its own employee benefits — the startup recently unveiled The Beehive next to its Denver offices. It’s an early childhood education center that offers affordable child care and educational programming for working parents.
This innovative startup offers “finance for fast-growing companies.” Using their platform allows businesses to offer seamless options for corporate credit cards and expensing through built-in software that dovetails with a company’s current financial management system. The receipt uploader and spreadsheet in the app have been given high marks from many clients that have provided testimonials.
As well, using their services allows businesses to tap into credit limits 10-20x higher than other lenders, per Brex, to have more access to funding while helping companies still spend smarter. Though they began targeting startups like themselves, investments in more savvy software has allowed Brex to scale and market to Fortune 500 companies, too.
Like Brex, Ramp is another corporate financial services tool that allows a range of businesses to save time and money. In addition to spending and expensing software as well as live support, Ramp touts access to 20x the amount of capital a business might garner from other sources — and can tap into extended payment terms. To date, the startup has 5,000 clients and is valued at $8.1 billion.
More recently, services have expanded into travel management, with AI-fueled programs to help coordinate and track expenses for out-of-office needs.
This burgeoning startup claims it has “built the largest and most diverse community of data professionals in the world” by attracting, vetting and training candidates that have gone on to work for giant companies like US Bank, Lyft and Johnson & Johnson among others.
A cornerstone of their platform is helping employers embrace more diversity with job readiness programs that open doors for more women and Black, Latinx and LGBTQ+ candidates.
Lead conversion is simplified with this business tool that finds verified contact info (emails and cell phone numbers) for potential customers in any number of industries. Market research and data importing are all done for you with the click of a button using the AI-powered technology. Or, as they say, it “organizes the world’s contacts and makes them universally accessible and useful.” To date, the startup has vetted 1.9 billion contacts.
Servicing more than 300,000 businesses, Seamless.AI says their advantage is that they are the world’s only search engine that works in real-time for sales leads that have a high conversion rate, with 5-10x higher ROI on average.
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As mentioned previously, one of the biggest industries on LinkedIn’s Top Startups list for 2022 is in healthcare. Cerebral offers telehealth technology that focuses solely on mental health care. It allows anyone dealing with anxiety, depression, ADHD, insomnia and other ailments to find a practitioner in the moment they need help without having to worry about scheduling an appointment.
The startup was born from the pandemic-led demand for mental health and virtual services. In addition to therapy and coaching, the tool also offers medication management with a variety of tailored and combination plans that fit an individual’s needs.
E-commerce brands in need of more communication solutions have been looking more and more to this startup that offers text message marketing with two-way communication led by AI technology. Calling itself “conversational commerce,” Attentive allows brands to interface with customers leading to more individualized sales opportunities with 10x the revenue potential, according to their website.
Attentive is very user-friendly with examples and templates that let brands build effective marketing strategies at the click of a button — and helps them target the right audience, as well.
In this day and age, security is more important than ever, especially when businesses are dealing with sensitive client info. Drata is a security automation platform that continually monitors for any breaches and upholds standard quality controls with real-time insights offering businesses peace of mind that they are in compliance.
The platform now has thousands of clients in every industry sector and has become a safeguard for HIPPA and CCPA info, among other personal data.
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