The Top 14 Companies Founded by NYU Alumni

Top 14 Companies Founded by NYU Alumni 1

NYU is a school that has had many gifted graduates. What you may not know however is that many of these gifted grads and students have created a number of business opportunities not just in New York City but also worldwide. 

NYU fosters a University-wide startup ecosystem that encourages multi-disciplinary collaboration, accelerates innovation, and cultivates the next generation of startup leaders. The University's team of startup experts offer educational programming and events, industry-specific resources, and funding support to help inspire, educate, connect, and accelerate entrepreneurs from across NYU.

NYU alumni have created some of the best startups in the world. Here are the top ones.  

waze event in new york

#14 Waze

Waze is a fun, community-based mapping, traffic & navigation app. Join forces with other drivers nearby to outsmart traffic, save time & gas money, and improve everyone's daily commute.

#13 Pfizer

Pfizer is a leading research-based biopharmaceutical company. They apply science and their global resources to deliver innovative therapies that extend and significantly improve lives. Every day, their colleagues work in developed and emerging markets to treat, cure and eradicate life-threatening conditions and challenge some of the most feared diseases of our time.

#12 The Knot

When husband-and-wife team Carley Roney and David Liu co-founded The Knot, they had one mission in mind – to help other couples easily navigate every wedding planning detail, both big and small. They learned how difficult it is to plan their own wedding. Combine a whirlwind engagement, an unfamiliar city, and an interracial couple and forget it – there was simply no resource with the insight they needed to help them plan. 

Even though their wedding was a blast, Carley and David realized better resources would have made planning their nuptials a lot less stressful. So they vowed to make wedding planning easy and fun for everyone else. For nearly 20 years we’ve helped millions of couples plan amazing, memorable weddings. 


One of the top e-book sales services, audible is a seller of e-books and podcasts online. Audible was founded in ‘95 by NYU entrepreneurs Donald Katz and Guy Story. The company recently became tradable on the New York Stock Exchange and stands as one of the biggest publicly traded audiobook providers in the world. 

#10 Square

Square started with a simple idea that everyone should be able to accept credit cards—and they‘ve been rethinking buying and selling ever since.

For sellers, they’re creating one cohesive service to run your entire business, from a register in your pocket and analytics on your laptop to small business financing and marketing tools that drive new sales. For buyers, they make it faster to order from your favorite restaurants and easier to pay your friends back. 

a home depot store location

#9 The Home Depot

The number one home improvement warehouse store in North America was formed by Ken Langone who was a graduate of the Leanard N. Stern School of Business in 1960. Today, Home Depot has a revenue stream of over $83 billion and employed 371,000 people in 2015. 

#8 Buzzfeed

Without NYU we would be without one of the world's biggest news and lifestyle sites. Buzzfeed was born when Jonah Peretti and John Johnson started working at the contagious media lab and formed their social information site. 

#7 Kaltura

Kaltura’s mission is to power any video experience. Kaltura has emerged as the fastest growing video platform and as the one with the widest use-case and appeal. Kaltura is deployed globally in thousands of enterprises, media companies, service providers and educational institutions and engages hundreds of millions of viewers at home, in work, and at school. 

#6 Foursquare

Foursquare helps people keep up and meet up with friends, and discover great places. The Foursquare app is for explorers who want to know about the best spots, and to share what they’ve found with others.

handmade designs made by artists and sold on Etsy

#5 Etsy 

One of the world's largest marketplaces for homemade items was created in 2004 by NYU students. Robert Kalin created the company as a means to sell his homemade furniture online with the help of Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik. Etsy reached a valuation of $1.8 billion when it went public in 2015.

#4 MTV

The biggest and boldest youth entertainment brand on the planet. MTV is a global network that reaches more than half a billion households across TV, mobile, or online with fun and innovative content and experiences.

#3 IBM

One of the world's largest tech companies, IBM, was formed from a graduate named Charles Ranlett Flint who graduated from the Tandon School of Engineering. The same school that would become the NYU engineering department. 

#2 Pinterest

Pinterest is a wildly popular site and app for collecting media across the Internet. People pin photos into collections called boards, which serve as big catalogs of objects. Pinterest, in effect, decomposes web pages into the objects that are embedded in them. As you’re creating a board on Pinterest, other people can get inspiration from your ideas, so there’s this cycle where what you’re creating for yourself also helps other people make their lives.

#1 Twitter

twitter logo

Twitter is a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. By developing a fundamentally new way for people to consume, create, distribute and discover content, Twitter enables any voice to echo around the world instantly and unfiltered. Available in more than 35 languages, Twitter has 316 million monthly active users.

The Farm SoHo

The Farm SoHo will wow you and your guests with its rustic charm and inviting environment. New York City's most engaged community of startup teams, developers, remote workers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. They have converged to share ideas, innovate and learn in a collaborative and nurturing environment. Their story began in Missouri where they found a gorgeous barn that needed a second chance. They dismantled the barn and brought it to NYC and rebuilt in in their loft in SoHo. 

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