It’s no secret that New York City has quickly turned into a hotbed of innovation. More and more tech companies are opting to set up shop in NYC, over a crowded and competitive Silicon Valley. Some of these startups have built the most incredible online brands in such a short period of time, but how have they achieved this? Well, one thing that a lot of these successful startups have in common is that they’ve turned to Instagram as the medium in which they deliver their message to their audience. When you’re a small startup, and not a lot of people know or recognize your brand, you have to rely on storytelling to establish some legitimacy, and Instagram is undoubtedly the best medium to do that.

But who are these New York City Startups that are changing the status quo and making waves on Instagram? Well, below we’ve listed 10 of them.


Founded by Emily Weiss as an evolution of her blog “Into the Gloss”, Glossier is quickly becoming a household name in the world of beauty.  Their Instagram is a treasure trove of beauty tips, memes, and stories from their incredibly loyal customers/fanbase.


Founded in 2012, Homepolish brings savvy, expert interior designers – recruited from the top firms and schools in the country – right to your doorstep. If you’re looking for Interior Design Inspiration, then the Homepolish Instagram is undoubtedly the place to visit. In the past years, the marketing team has done an incredible job of building a community of more than 1.8 million followers.


Founded only 3 years ago by Jen Rubio and Steph Korey, Away has already raised more than $81 million as it aims to tackle the huge industry that is travel, designing thoughtful luggage for the modern traveler. In those three years, Away have capitalized on Instagram to build an incredible brand. Their feed is a hotbed of curated travel shots that will instantly give you an insatiable desire to purchase an away suitcase, and book the nearest available flight.


Closing in on more than a quarter of a billion in funding, Casper is a global sleep company that launched in 2014, offering perfect mattresses directly to consumers. The guys at Casper have created a pretty cool brand on Instagram by showing different forms of something we all love, sleep!

Blue Apron

Founded six years ago, Blue Apron is a grocery delivery service company that delivers a recipe and the required ingredients right to their customer’s doorstep. The team at Blue Apron have somewhat of a headstart in that they get to curate their feed with some of the most delicious looking food that their customers create on a daily basis. Nonetheless, their account is still a must follow.  


Launched in 2010, Birchbox is the discovery commerce platform redefining the retail process by offering consumers a personalized way to discover, sample, shop and learn about the best products and brands available. Birchbox members have first-touch experiences with products each month and access to educational content to help them get the most out of their products. One of the main ways that Birchbox stays in communication with their customers is through social, with a specific focus on Instagram. If beauty is your thing, follow them.

Warby Parker

Founded in 2010, Warby Parker is a lifestyle brand that offers designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading way for socially conscious businesses. Over the years they’ve built a brand on Instagram that comprises of lifestyle, fashion, and showcasing their loyal customer base.


While not as big as some of the other startups named on this list, Resy’s Instagram is just as strong. For those of you who have never used it, Resy is a mobile app for people who love eating at great restaurants but hate hassling for reservations. Their Instagram feed is comprised of art, New York City, and the unique restaurants that use the platform.


Brooklinen is a manufacturer and supplier of sheets and pillows, delivered at an amazing price. They cut out the middlemen and focus on what you care about most – an awesome product,  eliminating costs such as wholesaling, physical storefronts and designer licensing fees that have no bearing on quality to focus only on that perfect sheet, pillow or blanket you’ve been looking for. In a similar league to Casper, they’ve built a brand on Instagram that inevitably tugs on your comfort emotion.


Slice is a pizza ordering platform that connects people with authentic local pizzerias nationwide. Slice makes it easy to order local pizza wherever you are, in just a few taps. Slice has built a modest yet loyal community on Instagram, enticing people to download the app by showcasing some of the most delicious pizza imaginable.

Overall, it’s evident that it pays to build a brand on Instagram in 2018, as these businesses above have proved. Have we left anyone out? Let us know below if there’s a New York City brand that you love to follow on Instagram.

Michael Burke

As Brand Manager at SelfMade, one of New York City's fastest growing social startups, Michael Burke helps E-commerce companies create a powerful and cohesive brand on Instagram. He is also the founder of popular Instagram account @talkshowents, and was recently listed as one of Irelands Top 50 most influential marketers.

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