What does it take for a company to change the world?
We don’t think that could be answered with just one response. After all, it’s more of a process. It’s having the light bulb go off when a person realizes that they have this idea that can make a difference. But, it also takes being fearless, relentless, bold and heroic to make the idea a reality. Actually, because these are similar traits to those of an entrepreneur, is it a coincidence that so many startups are out to change the world? We didn’t think so.
After being part of a non profit that helps grieving people and the millions of people they are impacting, I decided to highlight the 10 most intriguing and promising companies who are indeed starting a revolution.
Established in 2003 by Jeff Bullington and Peter Delfyett in Orlando Florida as Ablation Industries, Inc., the company, which was renamed Raydiance in 2004, has completely disturbed the laser industry. The company’s ultrashort has been proven to be more accurate and has the ability to cut through everything from steel to cancer cells when tuned correctly.
Despite the fact that researchers have been toying around with USP lasers since 1989, Raydiance has been able to successfully shrink the technology down to the size of a microwave. Because of its accuracy, cutting through materials without heating the surrounding area, and size, Raydiance is able to take laser technology to locations that were previously unattainable. The possibilities of using this technology in medicine or in aerospace are endless.
2. PK Clean
Here’s revolutionary business concept: convert carbon-containing waste, such as plastic, into hydrocarbon fuels. That’s exactly what Priyanka Bakaya is attempting do after learning about this waste-to-fuel technology from Percy Kean. After Kean passed away in 2007, Bakaya established a pilot in India, which could make 80 barrels of fuel per day out of 20 tons of plastic. It was while in India she crossed paths fellow MIT student Arjun Gupta who was working on a engineering degree. The duo have since set up a plant in Utah.
How is this not going to change the world? It will reduce wasted in landfills, which is great for the plant, and could have solved the concerns over fossil fuels since this could replace 25% of annual US auto consumption. .
Skybox Imaging was founded in 2009 by internet and aerospace professionals with the vision of giving businesses worldwide the opportunity to make more informed decisions by offering timely, high fidelity imagery and infinite analytics. This is accomplished by combining web technologies and high-resolution imaging satellites that can provide daily global activity.
So, how will this change the world? Unlike other companies that capture images from space, Skybox has been able to take more detailed images with a smaller product. This could be used for farmers to monitor their crops and address problems as needed and can even assist with search and rescue missions, like the company recently did with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
While there are many non-profit schools in the developing world, there aren’t many that are actually for profit. But that’s just one of the interesting tactics with Bridge SChool Academies. The schools are run more like a Starbucks than an educational institution, meaning that teachers instruct from scripts and every school would appear to the same. Within the last four years, BIA has opened up more than 200 schools in Kenya and plan to be instructing 10 million children worldwide by 2025.
With public and private schools failing in developing countries, the for-profit approach seems to be working in Kenya where parents pay $5 per month. While the classrooms may not be hi-tech, the program is. Teachers have tablets, parents can pay via their mobile phones and progress is assessed through a central database. If the low-cost approach, reputation and curriculum are effective, these pop-up schools could be the answer to correcting the problems with global education by actually teaching students, hiring more teachers and tech experts to handle the database.
While Bridge International Academies doesn’t provide students with tablets or laptops, it’s hard to believe that students in the 21st Century don’t have access to this readily avaialbe gadgets. That’s where One Laptop Per Child comes in, who is attempting to to provide each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop. The company has also designed hardware, content and software for so that children can collaborate and learn on their own.
What makes One Laptop Per Chiild unique is that company doesn’t just benefit children in the developing world. Even low-income students in the US can receive $176 laptop from Nicholas Negroponte’s venture. And, since each laptop has features like Wi-Fi mesh networks and a power system each machine consumes 90 percent less electricity than standard laptops. Not only are children getting connected to the world, this tech could potentially be used to reduce power consumption for all laptops in the future.
Formerly Liquid Metal Battery Corporation, Ambri has developed a new battery technology that is constructed from abundant, inexpensive materials, which means that productions costs would be significantly less. The liquid-metal cell concept was developed by MIT professor David Sadoway and has the ability to be an efficient and reliable source or energy.
While the technology is more effective for cars and portable electronics, one of the most promising features is that it can be placed on a truck and doesn’t require water like hydro-power.
This obviously means that these batteries can go anywhere and bring electricity to parts of the world where this wasn’t possible before.
7. Bloom Energy
Bloom Energy defied expectations after being founded in 2001. The Silicon Valley-based company visions a world in which solid-oxide fuel cells are used for homes and businesses so that they can generate their own electricity. These fuel cells would use hydrocarbon fuel and produce only half of the carbon dioxide that power plants currently do. Even more impressive is that just one fuel cell could run a home with excess power being sold back to the grid. Currently companies like Google, Apple, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Walmart, and eBay are customers.
Bloom Energy has the ability to use low cost materials to produce affordable and reliable energy in almost any corner of the world. Besides providing reduced energy costs for the world, these technology will assist in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
8. 3D Systems
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding 3D printers, and 3D Systems is at the forefront. As one of the industry leaders since 1986 in manufacturing 3D printers, print materials, professional and consumer custom-parts services and 3D imaging and customization software. The idea with 3D printing is that it will make the manufacturing process more efficient by reducing time and cost by producing prototypes or assembly parts.
— 3D Systems (@3dsystemscorp) July 23, 2014
Essentially, almost every industry could benefit from 3D Systems, including including aerospace, automotive, architecture, healthcare, dental, entertainment, recreation and consumer goods. In fact, you should check out these “20 Amazing Creations You Can Make With 3D Printing” to get a better understanding. But, there are some more world-changing implications, such as being able to construct a home for less than $5,000.
MIT Professor Marin Solja founded WiTricity Corp. in 2007 after he developed a theory for wireless electric power transfer. This is accomplished by having the devices exchange energy through magnetism. For example, a 60 watt light bulb was illuminated from a power source that was over 2 meters away. So, eventually, you could walk into a room and your smartphone would automatically begin to charge.
Besides the convenience, this technology is already beignning used to charge electric vehicles. This could open the market up for electric vehicles since the concern of finding a charging station could be reduced. Most importantly, this could open up the possibility of offering for electricity for everyone in the word.
Since 1999, this Kansas City based has been one of the leading digital marketing companies around that offers services including web content management, e-commerce implications and social media strategies. However, what makes DEG stand out from the pack is that company encourages people within DEG to launch their own business unit, aka intrapreneurship.
There is a lot of talent around that could be wasted because people are forced to remain at a job just so that they can make ends meet. But, imagine if there was a promising entrepreneur already in house? This person could launch their business more quickly because there was already a support system in place. This could open up the possibilities of more exciting and innovative startups getting established.
— DEG (@DEGdigital) July 17, 2014