In the birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra, on a quiet street near the waterfront, lie the offices of one of the hottest tech companies in the world: Attentive.
We’re used to thinking of the tech startup scene as confined to the Bay Area. Maybe a few in New York City proper, maybe. But one of the most significant new tech companies of today is right here in the Garden State.
A tech startup is a big deal when it becomes a “unicorn,” or reaches a valuation of $1 billion. Of all US companies that have reached that holy grail in 2020 and 2021, Attentive is the 4th largest. Its current valuation is $6.97 billion, a staggering sum for a company that’s only existed for 5 years.
Attentive is a messaging platform that helps companies communicate with their customers. It allows businesses to send personalized text messages that help drive sales. E-mail inboxes are overflowing and promotional e-mails tend to get lost in the shuffle, but customers are a lot more likely to notice a text message. After all, that’s how they communicate with family and friends every day.
Attentive is not the first unicorn this single square mile has produced. Hoboken-based e-commerce site Jet.com was sold to Walmart for $3.3 billion in 2016.
Why has this tiny town of only 50,000 people produced two giant software companies in just a few years? I think the reason is that over 80% of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree. Indeed, Hoboken is the 35th most educated city in the country. If you look at the other cities on that list, you see quite a few tech hubs, such as Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Cupertino in California.
The more we can promote higher education, particularly in STEM fields, the more of this type of success we will see. It makes me prouder than ever to be a New Jerseyan. I only wish I had been an investor in this one!
Have a great holiday weekend everyone!
Dig into these posts for more on startups:
- India Is Soaking Up Venture Capital Like a Sponge
- 7 Companies Had 3 Minutes Each to Pitch Us. This Is What Happened.
- Inside a Startup Accelerator Demo Day
Photo: “New Jersey – Hoboken: Washington Street Brownstones” by wallyg is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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