How we chose the 2018 CNBC Upstart 100

More than 500 start-ups responded to our call for submissions, supplying information about the company’s founders, investors, growth, recent milestones along with more, some of This specific off the record. To be eligible, companies had to be privately held along with founded no earlier than Jan. 1, 2013. Companies also must have been pre-Series B in their funding along with have raised no more than $50 million.

All eligible companies were then scored on eight equally-weighted quantitative metrics. The 100 highest-scoring eligible companies are our Upstarts. Here is actually a brief summary of each of the metrics that will determined the Upstart 100.


Achieving scale is actually not just about being able to produce along with distribute enough product to meet demand; This specific’s also about having a workforce capable of servicing existing customers along with acquiring completely new ones. The scalability score is actually based on company-provided responses to a group of questions about the ability to meet customer demand along with the growth along with size of the company’s workforce.

Sales growth

Based on company-provided sales numbers through 2016 along with 2017, plus projected 2018 sales. Companies were asked to choose through a selection of ranges instead of providing exact numbers. Responses have been kept off the record because private companies are not required to make sales numbers public, along with most could refuse to share sales numbers with CNBC if they thought we might publish them.

User/customer growth

Companies gave an estimate of year-over-year user or customer growth. The companies were not asked to specify whether or not these were paying customers or users. Responses have been kept off the record.

Workforce diversity

CNBC calculated a workforce diversity score based on company-provided answers to questions about certain demographic breakdowns of their employees along with executives, including whether or not the company features a female founder along with/or CEO.

Access to capital along with community

This specific metric helped ensure an even geographic distribution for the Upstart 100.

Twenty-two of the nominees were the only companies nominated through a particular state (as happened in Arizona, Kansas along with Maine, to name a few) or country (like Hungary, Indonesia along with Norway). These companies received higher scores in This specific category than the 169 nominees through Silicon Valley or the 125 nominees through completely new York City.

Intellectual property

A measure of whether or not the nominee company owns a patent, which can be a critical source of competitive advantage for a completely new venture. We made no attempt to judge the quality of the patents owned, nor did we give extra weight to companies with more patents than others. This specific was a zero-sum category. Source: Google Patents.

Industry size along with industry life-cycle stage

We researched each company’s primary industry along with, using IBISWorld’s database of industry reports, determined the size of each industry (in U.S. dollars) along with its life-cycle stage (growth, mature or decline). The score for these categories assumes that will This specific’s better to be a completely new venture in an industry that will is actually large along with growing than This specific is actually to be in one that will is actually tiny along with in decline.

Special thanks also to PitchBook, which we used to help confirm company eligibility. Fundraising was a determining factor for the list itself.

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