NYC Tech Diversity Keynote

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NYC Tech Startup Founders: Demographics

A sample of the demographic information for founders of tech startups valued at over $100 million shows that 94% are male, 52% are between 40-49, 72% are Caucasian, 35% have at least a master's level education, and 19% have more than a master’s degree. The approximate average salary for the founders is $590,000 annually.

The Demographics

  • Of the tech startup founders in the last ten years whose companies have been valued at $100 million or more, 94% are male, and 6% are female.
  • The average age of this group is distributed as follows: 3% are between 20-29, 13% are between 30-39, 52% are between 40-49, 23% are between 50-59 and 10% are over 60.
  • The education of the founders is distributed with 39% having some or complete undergraduate work, 35% have completed Master's Level studies, 13% have doctorates, 6% are M.D.'s, and 6% did not provide their level of education.
  • According to the calculations below, the average annual income for a founder of a tech start-up with $100 million valuation is approximately $590,000.


Research included using a list of all CEOs of startups founded in the last ten years to determine the demographics for gender, age, race, and education. The demographic information was then extracted from each person's biography. The results were logged on the attached spreadsheet, categorized, and the percentages are shown in the key findings. While we have cited the source for each person's biographical information, we have not linked to each individual source, but rather to the spreadsheet with the aggregate data. The attached Google document also provides pie charts for presentation if desired.

Raw data was not available for income, so we searched for an industry-standard formula for calculating CEO/founder income. "A variety of factors can influence the salary of a startup CEO, the firm found, including total funding raised, cash in the bank, industry, and the experience of the founder. The report examined payroll data for some 125 seed and venture-backed startups, with the average company in the analysis having raised between $7 million and $8 million in venture and seed financing. A startup's funding impacts the CEO's salary, the report found. Roughly, for every additional $1 million raised, a startup CEO will take home between $4,000 and $5,000 more in annual salary. CEOs at companies that have not recently raised capital will often dramatically reduce their salaries to save money, which the analysis supports."

The calculation of CEO/founder income is:
Amount raised $100 Million
Basic Salary for 8 million valuation $130,000
Addition for each million $5,000
Extra million 92
Addition Salary = 92 * $5000 = $460,000
Average CEO Salary in NYC for $100 million company
130,000 + 460,000 = $590,000

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NYC: Top Industries

The financial services industry contributes 20% of New York City's (NYC) gross domestic product (GDP), while professional, scientific & technical services, real estate, and information technology contributed 10% each. These details have been updated in the attached spreadsheet.


  • The top industries contributing the most to New York City's GDP include:
    • Financial Services: 20%
    • Professional, Scientific & Technical Services: 10%
    • Real Estate: 10%
    • Information Technology: 10%
    • Government: 9%
    • Health Care and Social Assistance: 6%
    • Wholesale Trade: 5%
    • Retail Trade: 4%
    • Others: 26%


Research Strategy

To identify the industries contributing the most to New York City's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Gross City Product (GCP) as stated in some sources, we commenced our research from government sources. We started by looking through the website of the City's Comptroller for reports on the city's economic activities. Here, we found two reports, the first was focused on the City's economic growth in the second quarter of 2019, while the other was focused on how diversified the city's economy has become. The first report, in particular, referred to the city's growing GDP, especially in comparison to the United States' and other prominent city's GDP. However, the GDP was not bifurcated by industries as the report focused on the contributing factors of the GDP growth such as increased employment and annual wages across different industries. We also searched for reports on New York State's GDP and although the industry segmentation of the state's GDP was available, the same was not available for New York City.

Next, we expanded to other government sources such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), American FactFinder, Census Bureau, and the Federal Reserve Bank. We found an article by the BLS titled "Recent trends in employment and wages in New York City’s finance and insurance sector," which outlined that the financial services sector accounts for 20% of the city's GDP/GCP. On further perusal of the source of this data, we found that the report was published in 2015, although it also contained the GDP contribution of all industries in New York City. As this source is beyond Wonder's standard two-year period, we continued our research.

Our next strategy was to peruse third-party statistical and academic sources such as Statista and Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business. What we found in these sources was the GDP by metropolitan area (New York — Newark — Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA), as well as county-level data. The data on the NY-NJ-PA metropolitan area covers a very broad area: "12 counties in New York (New York City, Long Island, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester), 12 counties in New Jersey (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union), and Pike County Pennsylvania." As such we could not make any specific reference from the data.

We also attempted to triangulate the contribution of each industry to the City's GDP using the annual income method, which puts the GDP as: Total National Income + Sales Taxes + Depreciation + Net Foreign Factor Income. However, while we found the total annual income per industry, we were unable to find other data points such as the sales tax per industry, depreciation, and net foreign factor income in the public domain.

We also attempted to make some inferences based on some of the statements made in some sources we perused. For example, the City's report on the second quarter economic growth notes that "The City’s economy grew 3.4 percent in Q2 2019, after 3.1 percent growth in Q1 2019; growth was fueled by a strong labor market and strong wage growth as measured by average hourly earnings," and that "Consumer spending contributed 2.85 percentage points (pp) to the GDP growth, the highest in over a year. This surge was enabled by the strength in the labor market and growth in wages." These statements in addition to Investopedia's "Consumers spend money to buy consumption goods and services, such as groceries and haircuts. Consumer spending is the biggest component of GDP, accounting for more than two-thirds of the U.S. GDP," suggested to us that we could infer that industries with higher annual wage contributed more to the GDP. However, we found that this was not the case as industries such as real estate generate more sales tax.

Therefore, in the absence of more recent data in the public domain, as well as the lack of enough data points to triangulate the GDP per industry in New York City, we have provided the data from the 2015 report.
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NYC Startups Valuation (over $1B) Part 1

WeWork, Oscar, Lemonade, ZocDoc, MongoDB, Sprinklr, Warby Parker, and AppNexus are eight tech unicorn startups in New York City. WeWork’s valuation was recorded at $10 billion in 2015 which later reached $47 billion in January 2019. However, due to the changes that will take place in WeWork’s corporate governance structure, its valuation is expected to reduce below $15 billion. The digital health-insurance company, Oscar, was valued at $3.2 billion in 2018. Lemonade and ZocDoc have a valuation of $2 billion each.


  • According to CNBC, WeWork’s valuation reached $47 billion in January 2019. However, the valuation targets are expected to drop below $15 billion to reach somewhere between $10 billion and $12 billion. This is expected to be the result of the changes that are going to be made to its corporate governance structure before its much-anticipated IPO along with other investor concerns.


  • Founded in 2013, Oscar is a digital health insurance company that is leading the industry by creating a unique and more effective user experience for its customers. The company reached a valuation of $1.75 billion by raising a total of $177.5 million in funding in 2015.



  • ZocDoc is a digital health appointment booking platform that enables users to find doctors and book appointments within 24 hours. Established in 2007, ZocDoc has grown to provide services to over 6 million users who book appointments for over 1,800 various medical procedures across 50 different specialties.


  • MongoDB is a tech startup that has built a document-based, general-purpose, distributed database for application developers to create and power innovative services and products. According to Business Insider, MongoDB has been “a $1 billion unicorn company since 2013”.


  • Sprinklr is a social media management startup and was founded by Ragy Thomas in 2008. This New York City-based company is currently valued at $1.8 billion, according to Ignitia Office. The company joined the “unicorn” rank in 2015, competing with companies such as Hootsuite.

Warby Parker

  • Warby Parker was established in the year 2010 and is currently valued at $1.75 billion. The New York City-based private tech company has raised a total of $300 million in funding to date.
  • Warby Parker crossed the $1 billion value mark in 2015 when it opened 16 branches across the United States and raised $100 million in funding.


  • AppNexus was founded by Mike Nolet and Brian O’Kelley in 2007, creating an ad-exchange platform for internet advertising. This could-based tech company is considered to be one of New York City’s largest tech startups.
  • According to Business Insider, the company is valued at $1.2 billion.

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NYC Startups Valuation ($100M to $1B) Part 1

Eight tech startups that have had a valuation of more than $100 million and less than $1 billion in New York City within the last 20 years are Cadre, Braze, Zola, Better Cloud, Sisense, Stash, Aaptiv, and Boxed. The details of the tech startups and their valuations are as follows.



  • The privately owned tech startup, Braze is based out of New York and was founded in 2011.
  • Braze has had a valuation of $850 million in 2018.


  • The privately owned tech startup, Zola is based out of New York and was founded in 2013.
  • Zola has had a valuation of $600 million in 2018.




  • The privately owned tech startup, Stash is based out of New York and was founded in 2015.
  • Stash has had a valuation of $350 million in 2019.


  • The privately owned tech startup, Aaptiv is based out of New York and was founded in 2015.
  • Aaptiv has had a valuation of $200 million in 2018.


  • The privately owned tech startup, Boxed is based out of New York and was founded in 2013.
  • Boxed has had a valuation of $600 million in 2018.


We started the research by searching for tech startups in New York City to watch. We then searched sites such as Tech Crunch and Forbes to find out their valuation. We have considered businesses that were started less than 15 years ago as startups. The startups Cadre, Braze, BetterCloud, Sisense, Stash and Boxed have either technology or software listed as their specialties in Linkedin, Aaptiv is an audio-based fitness app and Zola is in the Internet industry. Hence, we have considered the startups to be in the tech space.
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NYC Startups Valuation ($100M to $1B) Part 2

Seven tech startups with a valuation of more than $100 million and less than $1 billion in NYC include SecurityScorecard, Button, BlueVoyant, Trilogy Education Services, Blink Health, Dataiku, and Capsule. Information regarding these companies have been provided below.


  • SecurityScorecard is a startup that focuses on cybersecurity by analyzing cyber threat intelligence signals. The company was founded in 2013.
  • The company’s valuation is currently estimated to be at $360 million.


  • Button is a startup that provides a mobile commerce platform that uses proprietary technology to enable brands to drive revenue and mobile growth. The company was founded in 2014.
  • As of June 2019, the company’s valuation was estimated to be approximately $200 million.


  • BlueVoyant is a cybersecurity startup that was established in 2017. The company focuses on threat intelligence, management security, and professional services.
  • The company's valuation is estimated to be approximately $430 million.



  • Blink Health is a digital pharmacy that was founded in 2014. The company collaborates with more than 57,000 pharmacies to provide is users with the best discounts when it comes to prescription drugs. It accepts online payments and uses its proprietary technology to identify the best prices in the market.
  • As of April 2017, the company had a valuation of $600 million.


  • Dataiku is a startup that specializes in computer software and was founded in 2013. The company primarily focuses on analyzing data sets in different formats.
  • As of 2018, the company was valued at $800 million.


  • Capsule is a healthcare tech startup that delivers prescription drugs to users within a turn-around-time of two hours through its online application. The company was founded in 2015.
  • Capsule was valued at $110 million as of June 2018.


To find the requested information, we looked through industry sites such as Biz Journals, Built In NYC, and Forbes to identify the tech startups that have the most potential in NYC. We found pre-compiled lists of various tech startups in the requested region. To ensure that these companies were tech startups, we made sure that they offered technology solutions, services, or products. We then manually checked for their valuations and when they were founded to ensure that they met the research criteria using media platforms such as Fortune, PR Newswire, and Entrepreneur.

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NYC Startups Valuation (over $1B) Part 2

Seven NYC based startups that have achieved a valuation of over $1 billion in the past 20 years include Glossier, Casper, UiPath, Dataminr, Compass, Infor and Peloton Interactive. Of these companies, Infor has the highest valuation (estimated to be worth $60 billion) while Casper's $1.1 billion valuation is the lowest. Below are more details about these NYC tech startups.









To locate NYC based tech startups that have been valued at over $1 billion within the past 20 years, your research team leveraged various sources. We began our analysis by reviewing startup based publications like Pitchbook, TechCrunch and Built In NYC. Using this strategy we were able to all the startups. We utilized LinkedIn profiles and the World Postal Code website to verify that all the identified companies were headquartered in NYC. Furthermore, we defined tech companies as those startups that develop software products, incorporate technology in their products, or sell their products or services primarily through the internet (that is, e-Commerce companies).

Did this report spark your curiosity?


From Part 01
From Part 05
From Part 06