After rummaging through Technical.Ly’s archive of coverage, taking suggestions from the community and overthinking how to organize this list, it’s that time of year again to introduce the next group of RealLIST Startups.

Our #2 RealLIST startup from last year, alternative lodging service WhyHotel, also showed major progress with expansions and a big funding raise.

A few months after publishing the list last year, edtech startup Equiday was acquired by Baltimore-based edfintech startup Allovue.

These are just a few success stories from last year’s companies and we are eager to write more this year.

As I’m putting the list together, I consider lots of factors, from funding to hiring to office space to founder strengths. But there are a few common ground rules we follow around the Technical.ly newsroom: Startups on the list can’t be more than three years old (see Technical.ly CEO Chris Wink‘s 2012 definition of a startup for more explanation), and they can’t have exited or IPO’d.

They also have to make most of their revenue from a product.