Business

The 15 best startups to work for might surprise you

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You’re not going to find the most popular Silicon Valley startups on this list. In fact, you’re not going to find any Silicon Valley startups.

Turnstone, a company that helps you design your workspace, took a survey of soliciting nominations for the best young startups to work for. Startups qualified as “young” if they were less than 10 years old and had fewer than 100 employees. You couldn’t nominate your own startup and once the nominations were in, the startups would be further scrutinized by a team of five judge.

Theses judges looked at if the business had the potential grow, if it had a good culture, if its workspace was enjoyable, and how its leadership is structured.

Surprisingly, however, none of the final startups are located in the Bay Area, which breeds hundreds of startups.

“There is no doubt there is a huge mass of great companies being built every day in the Bay/Silicon Valley area, but we are convinced that like a virus (a good one) that over the last few years this has spread,” said Kevin Kuske, the general manager of Turnstone.. “The companies we hear about that are household names make up a tiny fraction of the actual number of ‘innovation driving enterprises’ that exist.”

So who made the list? Check them out:

Chalkfly — Detroit, Mich.

Chalkfly is pretty much like Staples, but all online. It sells school and office supplies, as well as technology. You can purchase as a regular consumer or as a business. Chalkfly gets interesting, however, as it donates five percent of your purchase price to schools and teachers in the United States. The money goes directly to that school or institution and you get to decide who gets it.

Cloudability — Portland, Ore.

Managing and running cloud infrastructure can get really expensive. In fact, you might just need a second budget just to keep track of this spending alone. That’s where Cloudability comes in. Its accounting technology tracks and analyzes all of your cloud spending and analyzes this activity. It’s only funny that Cloudability is, in fact, another cloud service that you need to pay for.

Fanology — Los Angeles, Calif.

Fanology is a social media marketing firm that says it will help you tell your story through the tweets, shared pictures, and more that your company and its fans share every day. It will analyze your current social media usage, think up a new strategy for your brand, and can even build special apps and other interactive digital elements to help push your messaging forward.

Greatist — New York, N.Y.

Health is going full speed toward digital and Greatist wants to be a part of the charge. The company is building a health hub filled with information and articles about fitness and health that it says has all been “cited by a scientific student and every sentence approved by multiple experts.” It was to be the place you trust to get fitness information.

Groove Commerce — Baltimore, Md.

It really matters how your online shop is structured. Customers need to trust you as a reputable retailer, believe that you’ll protect their information, all the while looking great and running smoothly. Groove Commerce wants to help you by using its development, design, and management skills to create that environment for your business. The company works best with those who use Magento e-commerce development, or those companies that focus more on lead generation.

Hoopla.io — Kansas City, Kan.

Hoopla.io wants to create just that around your events — a lot of hoopla. The company’s event mangement software helps you to promote and market your event online and, hopefully, without a lot of cost. You can create an event page, which Hoopla.io will then publish, share the event on all your social networks, and analyze what works and what doesn’t.

Nexus IT Group — Overland Park, Kan.

Nexus IT group is a little more traditional as far as startups come. The company is actually a staffing agency focused on IT candidates, but it seems Turnstone thinks working here is the real win.

Parking Panda — Baltimore, Md.

Parking Panda is one of those companies that is really trying to solve a pain point almost anyone in a big city understands: parking. The company’s app lets you reserve a parking spot in advance, so you don’t have to circle around the bloc ka few times. It’ll even help you save money on parking lots and garages. If you’re a person who owns a parking spot — let’s say, your driveway — you can rent out that space to others on the app.

Privy — Boston, Mass.

Privy‘s dashboards will help you find out who your online visitors are and how you can make them loyal customers. The company helps you find their real names, e-mail addresses, demographic, and more through a variety of promotions. It will track those people and determine which promotions they enjoy the most so you can continue courting them. Futhermore, the company will give you analytics on your online performance, and let you create special lists of people to send emails and other messaging to.

SocialRadar — Washington, D.C.

SocialRadar wants to make social location far more than just a check in on Facebook or Foursquare. The company is building technologies that can do things like help you know exactly who’s around you at a party, or when you walk through a crowd. It’s building for the iPhone, Android, as well as Google Glass — which will likely be the real game changer as it can feed this information right to your eyeballs in real time.

Sparefoot — Austin, Texas

You wouldn’t know what a pain in the butt finding storage space is until you need it. Sometimes you just need a box to throw dorm-stuff in for the summer, sometimes you need a temperature controlled space for your special grand piano. Sparefoot has indexed what it says is the “largest inventory of storage units on the web” to help you find what fits your needs best. It lets you sift through locations, prices, unit sizes, and other amenities. You can book right on the site. If you’re a storage facility owner, you can sign up right on the site as well.

Sparkhouse — Costa Mesa, Calif.

Almost every company wants to have an in-house video editor to churn out those beautiful and inspiration videos that go viral overnight. But that costs a lot of money — especially for a project you’ll likely only do a few times a year. Sparkhouse creates “strategic brand films” to help get your message across in a very visual and stimulating way. It will build commercials, “digital billboards,” and even help you with guerrilla marketing.

Sprout Social — Chicago, Ill.

Social media manager Sprout Social creates software to make sure you stay in all the conversations about you. The company gives you feeds for interacting with people online across all your social networks, you can post to those social networks through Sprout Social, monitor certain keywords, and get analysis on whether your campaigns are working. Internally, customers can use Sprout Social as a customer relationship manager as well as a task manager, sending to-dos to people on your own team.

Sputnik Creative — Austin, Texas

Everyone has an online presence, so now it’s about who can make theirs the most awesome. Sputnik Creative is a digital and branding agency that work with you to create a brand strategy, your company’s online content, your company’s website, any SWAG you might have, and even the design of your products.

Thanx Media — Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Thanx Media is another e-commerce website tool that will help you catalogue your inventory, add new products to your website, collect product reviews, and more. The company focuses on the enterprise and provides data to help you increase conversion rates.

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