There wasn’t much footwear representation on LinkedIn’s Top Startups 2018 list. But of the 50 young U.S.-based companies named, a pair of industry heavy hitters did get make the cut.
Environmentally-friendly brand Allbirds appears on the list, coming in at No. 29. LinkedIn cited the San Francisco-based label’s new 4,800 square foot New York City storefront as a reason to make it, as well as its celebrity and executive fandom, calling out Google co-founder Larry Page and actor Leonardo DiCaprio (who is also an investor). Also, per data from LinkedIn Premium Insights, the company has experienced 500-percent job opening growth in some areas of its business in the past three months.
Plans to open eight more stores stateside and selling more than 1 million pairs of shoes helped Allbirds make the list, too.
Clothing company Outdoor Voices was also named, taking the No. 43 spot. The Austin, Texas-based label, which was established in 2014, makes technical apparel for the casual athlete. It also sells sneakers — including its running shoe collab with Hoka One One — via its website, Outdoorvoices.com.
A reason for making the list, LinkedIn said, was the once online-only company’s decision to open eight physical stores, with five more to open by year’s end. Also, celebrity fandom also helped Outdoor Voices, with LinkedIn specifically calling out Natalie Portman and Harry Styles.
To make the cut, LinkedIn stated the startup has to be 7 years old or younger, employ at least 50 people, be privately held and be based in the U.S. The startups were measured, according to LinkedIn, on four pillars: employment growth (a minimum of 15 percent over the period of a year), engagement (non-employee views and follows on its page on the site, job interest (the company’s jobs people are looking at and applying to), and attraction of top talent (the amount of employees it recruited away from LinkedIn Top Companies).