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The Most Innovative Companies of 2016: Top Companies by Sector

  • advertising

    • 01

      GoPro

      For letting everyone in on the extreme-sports video action.

    • 02

      Samsung Electronics

      For becoming the toughest iPhone competitor in the galaxy.

    • 03

      Volvo Trucks

      For walking all over the competition with unforgettable stunts.

    • 04

      Pereira & O'Dell

      For tugging heart (and social) strings to deliver the unexpected.

    • 05

      Barton F. Graf 9000

      For using humor to make its odd name a household one.

    • 06

      Deutsch LA

      For upgrading its ad agency into a product developer too.

    • 07

      Anomaly

      For moving beyond lip balm to tackle the Super Bowl.

    • 08

      BBDO NY

      For using social media to capture the attention of today's distracted youth.

    • 09

      360i

      For collecting product data with a clever campaign.

    • 10

      RebelMouse

      For snatching up brands with its social media sounding board.

  • advertising & marketing

    • 01

      72andSunny

      For reflecting our modern culture back at us.

    • 02

      Lego

      For building big, with giant blocks.

    • 03

      adam&eveDDB

      For winning the holidays, again.

    • 04

      Vice Media

      For making Big Media cool (and profitable).

    • 05

      Taco Bell

      For nailing the millennial voice.

    • 06

      Percolate

      For bringing strategy to brands’ chaos.

    • 07

      Greenpeace

      For consistently releasing culturally relevant, varied creative with a purpose.

    • 08

      GE

      For making industrial science and technology fun.

    • 09

      Beats Music

      For stylishly showing the bonds between music and sports.

    • 10

      Newcastle Brown Ale

      For making a mockery of beer advertising.

  • advertising and marketing

    • 02
    • 02
    • 02

      Chipotle

      For making fast-casual dining sustainable and marketing it like no other fast food, to the tune of $1.84 billion last year.

    • 03

      Networked Insights

      For using data analytics to make more effective ad, media buying & original content decisions.

    • 03
  • africa

    • 01

      Protect Worldwide CIC

      For protecting endangered wildlife through technology

    • 01

      iHub

      For connecting, amplifying, and accelerating Africa’s tech community.

    • 01

      Eneza Education

      For providing kids in rural Africa with a virtual tutor.

    • 02

      M-Pesa

      For leading the mobile payments revolution in the developing world

    • 02

      Sanergy

      For bringing sustainable sanitation to Sub-Saharan Africa.

    • 02

      Konga

      For facilitating e-commerce in Africa.

    • 03

      One Acre Fund

      For fostering a new generation of farmers in Africa.

    • 03

      iROKOtv

      For changing the economics of Nollywood.

    • 03

      African Leadership University

      For educating Africa's next generation of leaders

    • 04

      Ubongo

      For inspiring a generation of digital learners. On

  • architecture

  • automotive

    • 01

      Hyundai

      For augmenting autos with gesture-controlled heads-up displays

    • 01

      Tesla Motors

      For making long-range electric cars a quickly expanding reality.

    • 02

      Toyota

      For leading the way in developing hydrogen-powered cars for the everyman.

    • 02

      Ford

      For embracing e-bikes and ride sharing

    • 03

      Tesla Motors

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

    • 03

      Google

      For putting driverless cars on the road.

    • 04

      Quanergy

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

    • 04

      General Motors

      For making embedded wireless connectivity the new in-vehicle standard.

    • 05

      Sober Steering

      For breathing a better breathalyzer into being

    • 05

      Mercedes-Benz

      For teaching cars to both drive in slow traffic and parallel park themselves.

  • big data

    • 01

      Catapult

      For taking the guesswork out of injury prevention.

    • 01

      GE

      For harnessing data from its planes and trains to power a new Industrial Internet, potentially saving billions.

    • 01

      Splunk

      For deploying its data crunchers to improve operations for its 5,000 clients, from Zynga to Rutgers University to Comcast to the FBI.

    • 02

      quid

      For tracking emerging tech trends with trillions of data points.

    • 02

      Next Big Sound

      For making music out of the music industry’s data.

    • 02

      Kaggle

      For feeding its DIY data scientists cash-prize challenges (then molding them into a consulting biz).

    • 03

      Mark43

      For putting cops in the cloud.

    • 03

      Ayasdi

      For using a visual approach to take the guesswork out of big data.

    • 03

      Kaggle

      For pitting data scientists from across the globe against each other to solve research problems for prize money.

    • 04

      Netflix

      For making the content it knows (with data!) we’ll all love.

  • biotech

  • china

    • 01

      Tencent

      For building a suite of communications apps that 300 million Chinese are talking through.

    • 01

      Xiaomi

      For launching low-cost, high-quality smart TVs and -phones to steal market share from industry stalwarts.

    • 01

      Apple

      For making China 25% of its massive business

    • 01

      Alibaba

      For helping consumers save as well as spend.

    • 01
  • clean energy

  • consumer electronics

    • 01

      Google

      For making the hit laptop nobody saw coming.

    • 01
    • 01

      Apple

      or raising the bar on digital technology—again.

    • 01

      Google

      For changing the way we view the world (and TV).

    • 01

      Apple

      For keeping the bar high.

    • 02

      Jawbone

      For enhancing the mobile lifestyle with beautiful devices.

    • 02

      HTC

    • 02

      Tesla Motors

      For revving its electric engine despite the bumpy road.

    • 02

      Samsung Electronics

      For wising up smart TVs and creating the phablet trend.

    • 02

      Xiaomi

      For using sharp marketing to become China's biggest smartphone maker in just three years.

  • consumer products

  • crowdfunding

    • 01

      DonorsChoose.org

      For setting its sights on education reform.

    • 02

      Patreon

      For enabling artists to sell their work directly to their fans.

    • 03

      Dragon Innovation

      For helping crowdfunded hardware products to become reality.

    • 04

      Crowdtilt

      For enabling crowdfunding between friends.

    • 05

      Experiment

      For bypassing politics in research funding.

    • 06

      Crowdrise

      For bringing fundraising to the masses. C

    • 07

      Unbound

      For giving readers a say in which books get published.

    • 08

      Beacon Reader

      For creating a writer-centric paywall. I

    • 09

      Airbrite

      For building tools for crowdfunded companies.

    • 10

      Fundrise

      For changing the rules of commercial real estate.

  • 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

  • defense

  • design

    • 02
    • 02

      Robinhood

      For bringing stock trading to a new demographic

    • 02

      Nike

      For putting sustainability at the top of its design agenda.

    • 02

      Gumroad

      For making e-commerce as painless as tweeting.

    • 02
  • 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

      DonorsChoose.org

      For teaching government a thing or two about education reform

    • 01

      General Assembly

      For teaching the skills workers need now.

    • 01

      Babbel

      For helping anyone speak like a local

    • 01

      Southern New Hampshire University

      For relentlessly reinventing higher education, online and off.

    • 01

      Coursera

      For simultaneously scaring and wooing brick-and-mortar universities into the future by helping get their courses online, at no cost to students.

    • 02

      Knewton

      For learning as you learn online.

    • 02

      Wisecrack

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

    • 02

      Udacity

      For blowing open the online education market with the backing of seasoned entrepreneurs.

    • 02

      Revolution Foods

      For reminding schools that healthy bodies lead to healthy minds.

    • 02

      Inkling

      For rewriting the book on e-books.

  • energy

    • 01

      Nest

      For heating up the dream of a smart home.

    • 01

      Cree

      For light bulbs that live longer and help our planet stay healthier.

    • 01

      Tesla Motors

      For obliterating the major barrier to wider adoption of electric vehicles.

    • 01

      Tesla Motors

      For taking rechargeables to Africa

    • 01
    • 02

      GE

      For harnessing the Industrial Internet to build the world’s first intelligent turbine.

    • 02

      SolaRoad

      For enlisting travelers to validate its solar-panel roadways

    • 02
    • 02

      Landwasher

      For building the waterless toilet of the future.

    • 02

      SolarCity

      For making solar an easier option. S

  • 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

  • entertainment

  • fashion

  • film and tv

  • finance

    • 01

      Nice Systems

      For connecting banks and other clients to frazzled end users when problems arise.

    • 01
    • 01

      Robinhood

      For removing the barriers to stock trading

    • 01

      Square

      For upending the credit card transaction-fee model for more than 2 million businesses by offering flat-rate processing.

    • 02
    • 02

      Affirm

      For selling millennials consumer loans

    • 02

      OpenGamma

      For cracking the secret world of capital markets by creating open-source risk-management software.

    • 02

      Square

      For creating an email-based payment system that is perhaps the simplest way to transfer money ever. S

    • 03

      Bitcoin

      For emerging from the shadowy corners of the web into merchants’ cash registers.

    • 03

      Earnest

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

  • fitness

    • 01

      Nike

      For generating unique offers for customers by plumbing their social media posts and spending habits.

    • 01

      Fitbit

      For outrunning its rivals in wearable tech.

    • 01

      Catapult

      For making athletes better without the use of illegal performance enhancement.

    • 01

      SoulCycle

      For cultivating a nation of spinning enthusiasts

    • 02

      My Fitness Pal

      For showing that weight loss can be a simple equation.

    • 02

      Nike

      For polishing its rep as the purveyor of fitness tech.

    • 02

      Fitbit

      For mainstreaming health tracking

    • 03

      Nike

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

    • 03

      SoulCycle

      For spinning a studio concept into a lifestyle brand.

    • 03

      Reebok

      For creating its own community of fitness fanatics.

  • food

    • 01

      SodaStream

      For making DIY carbonation sexy.

    • 01

      Taco Bell

      For operating like a tech company

    • 01

      Beyond Meat

      For rerouting agriculture’s environmental impact.

    • 01

      Panera Bread

      For overhauling the QSR experience with tech and service.

    • 02

      Hampton Creek

      For using big data to make better "alternative" ingredients the norm.

    • 02

      BrightFarms

      For pulling gas-belching 18-wheelers off the road.

    • 02

      Applebee's

      For using a sense of humor to drive two years of same-store growth.

    • 02

      Domino's

      For pushing pizzas with high tech

    • 03

      McDonald's

      For changing the conversation with a bold rebrand

    • 03

      640 Labs

      For taking the guesswork out of farming.

  • food and beverage

    • 01

      Starbucks

      For showing what a struggling powerhouse can do to revitalize its reputation and strengthen its relationship with customers through its own payment system.

    • 02

      Chipotle

      For making fast-casual dining sustainable and marketing it like no other fast food, to the tune of $1.84 billion last year.

    • 03

      Chobani

      For becoming America’s leading Greek yogurt brand in only four years.

    • 04

      GrubHub

      For leading the way in mobile food delivery apps.

    • 05

      Revolution Foods

      For boosting the health profile and quality of school lunches.

    • 06

      Sysco

      For restructuring its produce delivery system to better serve locavores. I

    • 07

      Naked Pizza

      For proving healthy pizza can be palatable (and profitable).

    • 08

      Ness Computing

      For crafting a sleek, social food app that recommends what to eat next.

    • 09

      Stop & Shop

      For streamlining the checkout process with an easy-to-use mobile payment app.

    • 10

      Tequila Avion

      For becoming the fastest-growing spirits brand, with a little help from its Entourage.

  • gaming

    • 01

      Telltale Games

      For bringing a television production schedule to the video game industry.

    • 01
    • 01

      Riot Games

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

    • 01

      Anki

      For taking the "toys to life" category to the future.

    • 01
    • 02

      Sony

      For making a game console that can be all things to all players.

    • 02
    • 02

      Lego

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

    • 02
    • 02

      Twitch

      For making watching games just as fun as playing them.

  • healthcare

    • 01

      GE

    • 01

      Sproxil

      For sticking it to fraudulent pharmaceutical sellers.

    • 01

      Augmedix

      For giving Google Glass a second life (in the doctor's office)

    • 01

      National Marrow Donor Program

      For matching technology with critical transplant needs.

    • 01

      Apricot Forest

      For seeking a cure to what ails Chinese health care.

  • hollywood

    • 01

      HBO

      For using its creative cachet to evolve an entire industry.

    • 01

      Netflix

      For becoming the first global TV network

    • 01

      Netflix

      For pulling off one of the biggest comebacks in entertainment history.

    • 02

      Universal Studios

      For breaking box-office records with canny casting and marketing

    • 02

      WME

      For strategically redefining the talent agency.

    • 02

      Netflix

      For a data-driven approach to the unexpected.

    • 03

      Marvel Studios

      For approaching blockbuster properties with creative audacity and unconventionality.

    • 03

      Hasbro

      For mastering the art of corporate storytelling

    • 03

      Funny or Die

      For bringing the cutting-edge wit it cultivated online to TV and movie audiences.

    • 04

      Chernin Entertainment

      For setting the new standard for today’s media companies.

  • india

  • internet

    • 01

      Google

      For breaking through in more than just search.

    • 02

      Tencent

      For fueling China’s Internet boom—and boldly moving West.

    • 03

      Airbnb

      For using the web to enable real-world sharing of apartments and spare rooms.

    • 04

      Dropbox

      For simplifying web-based storage with its easy-to-use cloud file-sharing and storage system.

    • 05

      Gogo

      For flying high with a slew of web services for air travelers.

    • 06

      Akamai

      For seamlessly routing Internet data from providers’ servers to users’ computers, tablets, and mobile platforms.

    • 07

      Zaarly

      For creating a proximity-based marketplace services lets sellers outsource tasks and errands.

    • 08

      CloudFlare

      For protecting and securing better than anyone has done before.

    • 09

      Pinterest

      For turning the universe of internet images into gorgeous dream boards.

    • 10

      Badoo

      For creating one of the world’s largest, most functional, and fastest-growing dating network.

  • israel

    • 01

      El Mind A

      For changing the way we see our brains.

    • 01

      Novocure

      For creating a cancer-killing hat

    • 01

      SodaStream

      For providing an alternative to bottles.

    • 01

      Nice Systems

      For making apps smarter and more sympathetic.

    • 02

      Xsight Systems

      For keeping airport runways safe.

    • 02

      MedAware

      For discovering errors in the prescribing of drugs.

    • 02

      Water-Gen

      For creating water where soldiers need it most.

    • 02

      Windward

      For demystifying shipping data

    • 03

      Team8

      For investing in the next generation of cybersecurity startups

    • 03

      BillGuard

      For helping consumers fight fraud in an increasingly hack-prone financial system.

  • kickstarter companies

    • 01

      Oculus VR

      For bringing back virtual reality.

    • 02

      Kano

      For fostering creativity with computers.

    • 03

      Coolest Cooler

      For bringing high-tech fun to the humble beach chest.

    • 04

      Radiotopia

      For creating an audio utopia.

    • 05

      Chineasy

      For making learning Chinese both easier and more beautiful.

    • 06

      Superior Motors Restaurant

      For trying to revive a town through its stomach.

    • 07

      RRKidz

      For bringing back the beloved Reading Rainbow.

    • 08

      Warhorse Studios

      For bringing players into its game at every step.

    • 09

      XOAB

      For putting the best footwear forward.

    • 10

      Hello

      For elevating the hardware startup Kickstarter.

  • latin america

    • 01

      Algramo

      For serving staples in the most underserved neighborhoods.

    • 01

      Airbnb

      For helping travelers feel like locals

    • 02

      EduK

      For cultivating Brazilian startups with online education

    • 02

      Banco Galicia

      For growing a banking system in an under-the-mattress economy.

    • 03

      Lowe-SSP3 Colombia

      For reaching out to the previously unreachable.

    • 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

    • 04

      Insitum

      For being global brands’ Latin American translator.

    • 05

      Reserva Group

      For going its own way and encouraging everyone to do the same.

    • 05

      Dafiti

      For revolutionizing Latin American e-commerce

The World's 50 Most Innovative Companies 2016