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The Most Innovative Companies of 2016: Top Companies by Sector

  • africa

    • 06

      World Bicycle Relief

      For breaking down the barrier of distance

    • 07

      Totohealth

      For taking care of Africa's mothers and children

    • 08

      Jumia

      For positioning itself as the Amazon of Africa

    • 09

      Sanivation

      For turning toilets into a successful business model

    • 10

      BRCK

      For making the African internet portable

  • architecture

    • 06

      Assemble

      For seeing opportunities for good design everywhere--from gas stations to playgrounds

    • 07

      Gerber Architeckten

      For thinking on its feet in the Middle East

    • 08

      Kasita

      For upgrading the "mobile" home

    • 09

      Ateliers Jean Nouvel

      For putting the Louvre in Abu Dhabi

    • 10

      Lake | Flato

      For being a leader in architecture's sustainability evolution

  • automotive

    • 01

      Hyundai

      For augmenting autos with gesture-controlled heads-up displays

    • 02

      Ford

      For embracing e-bikes and ride sharing

    • 03

      Tesla Motors

      For adding autopilot features overnight and making your car come to you

    • 04

      Quanergy

      For developing software that makes driverless cars cheaper for the rest of us

    • 05

      Sober Steering

      For breathing a better breathalyzer into being

    • 06

      Local Motors

      For 3-D printing a car we can actually drive

    • 07

      Harman

      For giving each passenger a "sound zone," paving the way for peaceful road trips

    • 08

      Hudway

      For creating the only app that keeps drivers' eyes on the road

    • 09

      Getaround

      For turning car owners into car loaners

    • 10

      Evenflo

      For building a car seat that alerts parents if a baby gets too hot or her seat belt unbuckles

  • biotech

  • china

  • data science

    • 01

      Spotify

      For finding the beat in the data

    • 02

      IBM

      For taking on weather forecasting

    • 03

      Digital Reasoning

      For stopping Wall Street rule breaking before it happens

    • 04

      Mount Sinai

      For creating a tool to predict the role of genes in immunology

    • 05

      Royal Dutch Shell

      For identifying smarter places to drill

    • 06

      D2L

      For personalizing the learning experience

    • 07

      Costco

      For saving water--and money

    • 08

      Google

      For making its apps machine smart

    • 09

      Blue Cross Blue Shield

      For learning from 106 million patients and $350 billion in claims.

    • 10

      Arimo

      For letting anyone crunch numbers like Google

  • design

    • 01

      New Deal Design

      For creating myriad designs for cutting-edge products

    • 02

      Robinhood

      For bringing stock trading to a new demographic

    • 03

      Disney Research

      For building bonkers technology experiments

    • 04

      Metalab

      For taking an approach to software design that's anything but slack

    • 05

      Adidas

      For making sportswear look easy with Yeezy

    • 06

      Yatatoy

      For disguising kids' reading apps with clever interfaces

    • 07

      MAP

      For wittily remaking everything, from trains to sporks

    • 08

      Muji

      For holding true to its Plain Jane ethos--and sparking a craze

    • 09

      Microsoft

      For immersing itself in a new, human-centered product philosophy

    • 10

      Volkswagen ERL

      For (already) reinventing the autonomous car

  • drones

    • 01

      DJI

      For driving the evolution of an industry

    • 02

      3D Robotics

      For bringing programmable UAVs to the classroom

    • 03

      Ehang

      For using virtual reality to give everyone wings

    • 04

      Skycatch

      For being a building contractor's eyes in the sky

    • 05

      Airware

      For developing a drone operating system

  • education

    • 01

      Babbel

      For helping anyone speak like a local

    • 02

      Wisecrack

      For proving that learning can be f*@$ing hilarious

    • 03

      Google

      For taking students where the school bus can't, using virtual reality-style journeys

    • 04

      littleBits

      For making STEM learning a snap

    • 05

      MIT

      For shortening the path to a master's degree via online coursework

    • 06

      Instructure

      For moving course planning to the cloud

    • 07

      Knewton

      For democratizing adaptive learning

    • 08

      Querium

      For using AI to help students bust out their algebra homework

    • 09

      New Valence Robotics

      For letting teachers integrate automated 3-D printers into their classes

    • 10

      AltSchool

      For modernizing the one-room school with data-based, personalized curricula

  • energy

    • 01

      Tesla Motors

      For taking rechargeables to Africa

    • 02

      SolaRoad

      For enlisting travelers to validate its solar-panel roadways

    • 03

      Toyota

      For fostering the hydrogen fuel-cell market's growth

    • 04

      Janicki Bioenergy

      For building a self-powered waste-treatment plant

    • 05

      SolChip

      For showing us the light with a battery that never dies

    • 06

      Solar Impulse

      For embarking on a solar-powered flight

    • 07

      Sun Electric

      For mounting solar rooftops over Singapore

    • 08

      Sunfire

      For brewing an "e-diesel" from water and air

    • 09

      Younicos

      For putting renewables on the grid

    • 10

      Sensity Systems

      For bringing the Internet of Things to LEDs

  • enterprise software

    • 01

      Amazon

      For leveraging Web Services to fuel voice and video ambitions

    • 02

      Slack

      For becoming the creative home of our work lives

    • 03

      Box

      For building the backbone of major businesses

    • 04

      Microsoft

      For (finally) putting its OS on the house

    • 05

      Zendesk

      For predicting when customers will get angry

    • 06

      DocuSign

      For forming key alliances to promote its e-signature tech

    • 07

      Asana

      For making project management­ fun (!)

    • 08

      Domo

      For giving firms a holistic view via 300 live data sources

    • 09

      Docker

      For harmonizing cloud technologies

    • 10

      Anaplan

      For drastically reimagining the lowly spreadsheet

  • finance

    • 01

      Robinhood

      For removing the barriers to stock trading

    • 02

      Affirm

      For selling millennials consumer loans

    • 03

      Earnest

      For trying to fix the long-broken student-loan system

    • 04

      Aspiration

      For letting customers name their own price for mutual-fund fees

    • 05

      Motif Investing

      For expanding its theme-based trading

    • 06

      Digit

      For helping people save effortlessly

    • 07

      SoFi

      For upending retail banking with ease

    • 08

      InVenture

      For creating a more inclusive credit score

    • 09

      Coinbase

      For making bitcoin user-friendly

    • 10

      Kuaile Shidai (Qufenqi)

      For building a financial system for China's upwardly mobile college kids

  • fitness

    • 01

      SoulCycle

      For cultivating a nation of spinning enthusiasts

    • 02

      Fitbit

      For mainstreaming health tracking

    • 03

      Nike

      For reaching new customers by turning the Jordan brand into a video game

    • 04

      Under Armour

      For cramming an entire fitness-tech ecosystem into a box

    • 05

      Bandier

      For fashioning an athleisure boutique

    • 06

      IHG

      For creating Even Hotels for a healthy night's stay

    • 07

      ClassPass

      For giving health nuts more options

    • 08

      Peloton

      For gamifying a bike to bring spin class home

    • 09

      Lark

      For developing a weight-loss app that talks back

    • 10

      Mio

      For calculating a better metric for wearables

  • food

    • 01

      Taco Bell

      For operating like a tech company

    • 02

      Domino's

      For pushing pizzas with high tech

    • 03

      McDonald's

      For changing the conversation with a bold rebrand

    • 04

      Gousto

      For delivering measured meals to the kitchen-challenged

    • 05

      sweetgreen

      For crafting food (and festivals) that make healthy eating look cool

    • 06

      The Kitchen

      For bringing a new definition of "local" to restaurants

    • 07

      Coravin

      For sticking it to the wine cork

    • 08

      Reserve

      For making diners feel like VIPs

    • 09

      Agrilyst

      For being the plant whisperer

    • 10

      Impossible Foods

      For creating plant-based food for carnivores

  • gaming

    • 01

      Riot Games

      For paving the way for the next billion-dollar industry: esports

    • 02

      Lego

      For developing Toy Pad to let kids bring their brick creations to life

    • 03

      Twitch

      For making its niche video-streaming platform indispensable to the gaming industry

    • 04

      Disney

      For creating smart, interactive toys that make kids move

    • 05

      Oculus VR

      For elevating gaming to the next level with Rift (and Touch)

    • 06

      Sony

      For persevering through years of development to perfect "The Last Guardian"

    • 07

      Nintendo

      For revitalizing Mario by letting players make their own worlds

    • 08

      Bungie

      For turning its Destiny fixes into anxiously awaited updates

    • 09

      Bethesda Softworks

      For dominating consoles and mobile with its Fallout franchise

    • 10

      Zero Latency

      For immersing players in a virtual-reality, zombie-filled world

  • healthcare

    • 06

      uBiome

      For drafting citizens to study what's in their guts

    • 07

      Lybrate

      For crowdsourcing a solution to India's doctor shortage

    • 08

      Enlitic

      For using AI to accurately assess radiology results

    • 09

      CVS Health

      For reinventing the pharmacy

    • 10

      IBM

      For opening a hub of health data that doctors and startups can build on

  • hollywood

    • 01

      Netflix

      For becoming the first global TV network

    • 02

      Universal Studios

      For breaking box-office records with canny casting and marketing

    • 03

      Hasbro

      For mastering the art of corporate storytelling

    • 04

      Disney

      For awakening the world to its Force, yet again

    • 05

      STX Entertainment

      For flipping the script on moviemaking

    • 06

      Lifetime

      For wooing stars to push beyond the trashy made-for-TV movie

    • 07

      Dalian Wanda

      For securing a legendary deal to rule global blockbusters

    • 08

      Anonymous Content

      For creating popular hits that feel like indies

    • 09

      Array

      For sounding the call for more diverse filmmakers across the industry

    • 10

      Duplass Brothers Productions

      For padding out your growing list of go-to movie-night streaming picks

  • india

    • 01

      InMobi

      For making mobile advertising likable

    • 02

      Noora Health

      For addressing India's nurse shortage via family education

    • 03

      Flipkart

      For building a portal for international brands hungry to reach Indian consumers

    • 04

      Mahindra

      For turning the United States into its emerging market

    • 05

      Nextdrop

      For sending water-supply updates via text message

    • 06

      Faasos

      For popularizing on-demand food ordering

    • 07

      Purple Squirrel

      For schooling college students with supplementary training

    • 08

      MapMyGenome

      For encouraging preventive health care via genetic testing

    • 09

      Logistimo

      For keeping recipients updated on deliveries without Internet access

    • 10

      Awaaz

      For creating a voice-based social network for rural residents

  • israel

    • 01

      Novocure

      For creating a cancer-killing hat

    • 02

      Windward

      For demystifying shipping data

    • 03

      Team8

      For investing in the next generation of cybersecurity startups

    • 04

      IronSource

      For building an ecosystem for discovering apps

    • 05

      OurCrowd

      For empowering anyone to become a VC

    • 06

      Neotop

      For addressing Israel's future water crisis head-on

    • 07

      Percepto

      For improving the vision of drones

    • 08

      Bram Industries

      For bringing sustainability to the plastics industry

    • 09

      Zerto

      For making it easier than ever to protect cloud data

    • 10

      Verona

      For creating a Tinder for world peace

  • latin america

    • 01

      Airbnb

      For helping travelers feel like locals

    • 02

      EduK

      For cultivating Brazilian startups with online education

    • 03

      Loggi

      For creating a same-day service that benefits shippers and couriers

    • 04

      Construct

      For developing an app to help fix Brazil's construction industry

    • 05

      Dafiti

      For revolutionizing Latin American e-commerce

    • 06

      Semtive

      For learning how to harvest wind power from cities

    • 07

      TiZKKA

      For helping users get style types from their FB and IG friends

    • 08

      FirstJob.Me

      For matching recent grads with global employers

    • 09

      Start-Up Chile

      For adding fuel to Chile's startup boom

    • 10

      Satellogic

      For making cheaper, lighter satellite tech

  • live events

    • 01

      Periscope

      For creating a tool that can build empathy toward social injustice

    • 02

      NBC

      For becoming an event-programming Wiz

    • 03

      Eventbrite

      For using RFID bracelets to make ticketing a breeze

    • 04

      Banjo

      For having its finger on the pulse of the world

    • 05

      UFC

      For taking MMA mainstream--and bringing women with it

    • 06

      Recess

      For launching a music festival to show college students the startup way

    • 07

      Afropunk

      For going premium--and international--while keeping its independent spirit

    • 08

      Dinner Lab

      For scaling a quirky dining club into a national business

    • 09

      Everfest

      For building a search engine for events near and far

    • 10

      Pure Fitness

      For creating a totally immersive exercise experience

  • marketing & advertising

    • 01

      BuzzFeed

      For teaching brands to create, not sell

    • 02

      Midroll Media

      For connecting podcasters to premium advertisers

    • 03

      Instagram

      For making its image feed more shoppable

    • 04

      Under Armour

      For winning the celeb endorsement game

    • 05

      72andSunny

      For matching up powerhouse brands

    • 06

      GE

      For tripling its jobs-site traffic with self-deprecating spots

    • 07

      A24

      For creating ads as edgy as its films

    • 08

      Hindustan Unilever

      For dialing into India with a free phone-based radio station

    • 09

      World Wildlife Fund

      For conjuring animal compassion via emoji

    • 10

      Virgin America

      For showing off its sleek in-cabin experience

  • media

    • 06

      CBS

      For being the first network to go over-the-top

    • 07

      Vice Media

      For transforming traditional TV online

    • 08

      Lost My Name

      For redefining personalized publishing

    • 09

      Wasserman

      For helping athletes reach fans

    • 10

      Cartoon Network

      For turning its kids' app into a show lab

  • music

    • 01

      Spotify

      For remixing its streaming service

    • 02

      OVO Sound

      For blinging the millennial hotline by thinking meme-first

    • 03

      Big Machine

      For advocating (Taylor) swiftly for artists' rights

    • 04

      Sonos

      For doubling down on audio quality with its Play:5 speaker

    • 05

      SubPac

      For feeling the music

    • 06

      Doppler Labs

      For filtering out the noise with its smart earbuds

    • 07

      Pandora

      For partnering with artists to sell concert tickets to big fans

    • 08

      Shazam

      For seeing the power of image recognition

    • 09

      Pacemaker

      For turning music lovers into pro DJs

    • 10

      SoundCloud

      For forging tools (and licensing deals) to boost its cred as a creator's best friend

  • not-for-profit

    • 01

      Black Lives Matter

      For empowering the marginalized to fight for their own justice

    • 02

      Sama

      For reinventing what it means to be a not-for-profit business

    • 03

      Watsi

      For crowdfunding thousands of surgeries around the globe

    • 04

      Kids v Cancer

      For accelerating the discovery of pediatric cancer treatments

    • 05

      92nd Street Y

      For encouraging social donors to give it up ... on a Tuesday

    • 06

      Humans of New York

      For defusing prejudices with a simple photo series

    • 07

      UNICEF

      For turning children's doodles into brighter futures

    • 08

      Every Mother Counts

      For bringing a model approach to lowering maternal mortality

    • 09

      Worldreader

      For trying to break the cycle of poverty with free digital books

    • 10

      Raising the Roof

      For humanizing the homeless in the eyes of the more fortunate

  • retail

    • 01

      CVS Health

      For reinventing the pharmacy

    • 02

      Amazon

      For quietly becoming a cloud giant

    • 03

      Warby Parker

      For opening eyes around the world

    • 04

      Farfetch

      For putting the world's best boutique fashion retailers on a global stage

    • 05

      Everlane

      For reinventing affordable basics

    • 06

      Kit and Ace

      For designing luxe casual-wear from next-generation performance fabrics

    • 07

      Shopify

      For enabling every business to pursue a "retail everywhere" strategy

    • 08

      Pinterest

      For deploying a variety of buttons to make its pins more shoppable

    • 09

      Casper

      For reducing the headache of getting a mattress to your door (and up the stairs)

    • 10

      Target

      For treating its stores like an innovation lab

  • robotics

    • 01

      Rethink Robotics

      For building a robot that can feel for parts on the assembly line

    • 02

      Intuitive Surgical

      For deploying a multi-armed robot for human surgery

    • 03

      Grey Orange

      For automating India's e-commerce scene

    • 04

      Insight Robotics

      For peering deeper into wildfires and structural faults

    • 05

      Open Bionics

      For manufacturing bionic arms faster and cheaper than ever

    • 06

      Panasonic (ActiveLink)

      For renting exo-skeletons to do the heavy lifting

    • 07

      Ethicon

      For making operating rooms almost as smart as the surgeons

    • 08

      Anki

      For shifting its toy cars into overdrive

    • 09

      Autodesk

      For working to make robots collaborative, rather than assistive

    • 10

      Jibo

      For devising a friendlier personal robot

  • social good

    • 01

      Facebook

      For developing into a positive force, from Donate to Safety Check

    • 02

      Social Capital

      For shining a light on investor diversity

    • 03

      Aspiration

      For being a bank with the brass to donate 10% of revenue to charity

    • 04

      Warby Parker

      For bringing glasses to American kids in need

    • 05

      Rubicon Global

      For tapping waste management companies to keep trash out of landfills

    • 06

      Toms

      For giving other purpose-driven businesses a step up

    • 07

      Classy

      For making fundraising simple and seamless for not-for-profits

    • 08

      GoodWorld

      For enabling donations via hashtag

    • 09

      Greenlight Planet

      For offering solar-powered lamps to folks living off the grid

    • 10

      Indiegogo

      For waiving its 5% crowdfunding fee for conscious campaigns

  • social media

    • 01

      Facebook

      For incubating mega apps like Messenger and Moments

    • 02

      BuzzFeed

      For mastering content creation for every social platform

    • 03

      Taco Bell

      For living más like a digital native

    • 04

      Periscope

      For putting a broadcast network in everyone's hands, from activists to Ellen

    • 05

      Tumblr

      For birthing all the memes, Pepe

    • 06

      YouNow

      For making live-streaming video personally lucrative

    • 07

      Giphy

      For fueling the GIF craze with its searchable stockpile

    • 08

      WeChat

      For expanding China's messaging app

    • 09

      Tinder

      For growing its platform from swiping right to super likes

    • 10

      Grindr

      For promoting LGBT tolerance worldwide

  • space

    • 06

      Planetary Resources

      For making asteroid mining a reality

    • 07

      Arianespace

      For propelling 12 rockets in as many months

    • 08

      Microsoft

      For bringing augmented reality to the ISS

    • 09

      Rocket Lab

      For 3-D printing a new business model for satellites

    • 10

      NASA

      For showing us what Pluto looks like

  • sports

    • 01

      Hudl

      For changing the game with mobile video

    • 02

      MLB Advanced Media

      For shooting the NHL into the future of streaming video

    • 03

      STRIVR Labs

      For training athletes with virtual reality

    • 04

      Quanterix

      For detecting concussions with a single finger prick

    • 05

      Motus

      For creating a smart sleeve to protect pitchers' arms

  • style

    • 01

      Farfetch

      For bringing boutique-level taste to global e-commerce

    • 02

      Balmain

      For cultivating the first social fashion house

    • 03

      Birchbox

      For moving from samples to launching its own sweat-proof makeup lines

    • 04

      Louis Vuitton

      For daringly recasting the model­--notably Jaden Smith for women's wear

    • 05

      Asos

      For going on a virtual-reality shopping spree

    • 06

      Iris van Herpen

      For applying terraforming to runway fashion

    • 07

      Lemaire

      For stitching together the year's hottest collaboration, with Uniqlo

    • 08

      Outdoor Voices

      For making gym clothes that you can wear to work

    • 09

      Supreme

      For unleashing a line of creative kicks--inciting pandemonium

    • 10

      Priv

      For delivering hair and makeup appointments to users' doors

  • travel

    • 01

      Uber

      For driving into the heart of corporate America

    • 02

      Airbnb

      For curating trips to let travelers live like locals--even in Cuba

    • 03

      Generator

      For hipping up hosteling

    • 04

      BeMyGuest

      For bringing experiential travel to Asia

    • 05

      Vail Resorts

      For creating the ultimate travel loyalty program

    • 06

      OTG Management

      For making even Newark Airport a preflight oasis

    • 07

      AJ Capital Partners

      For building the Graduate, a hotel brand that captures that cool college-town vibe

    • 08

      Marriott

      For marketing its lodging empire with short films and Snapchat

    • 09

      The Priceline Group

      For digitizing the hotel stay via Booking.com

    • 10

      Travel Noire

      For tapping into a network of African-American globe-trotters

  • video

    • 01

      Netflix

      For custom-creating entertainment for every segment of the population

    • 02

      HBO

      For cutting the cord, and stirring a movement

    • 03

      YouTube

      For upgrading its platform with virtual reality--and premium services

    • 04

      Periscope

      For mainstreaming live, handheld video

    • 05

      Snapchat

      For helping traditional media companies reach millennials in their natural habitat

    • 06

      Sandwich Video

      For becoming Silicon Valley's go-to producer

    • 07

      Glide

      For providing a social communication tool for the deaf community

    • 08

      CBS

      For making multi-platform video its new model

    • 09

      Hudl

      For creating a mobile video tool that has transformed sports training, recruiting, and social networking

    • 10

      Kaltura

      For providing a turnkey solution for OTT content

  • virtual/augmented reality

    • 01

      Jaunt

      For building a platform, from cameras to concerts

    • 02

      Oculus VR

      For dazzling gamers and developers with a high-end headset

    • 03

      Google

      For putting VR for the masses in a cardboard box

    • 04

      Microsoft

      For applying a utilitarian lens to 3-D

    • 05

      Vrse

      For becoming the premium VR content shop for brands

    • 06

      The New York Times

      For immersing readers in a new form of journalism

    • 07

      NextVR

      For broadcasting big-ticket events

    • 08

      Blippar

      For taking ads to another dimension

    • 09

      NBA

      For ushering couch-bound fans to a courtside seat

    • 10

      Object Theory

      For developing apps that put VR to work

The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies 2016