The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies 2019

kaszekeditor web-pick
25 February 2019

Source: https://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2019

Our 2019 ranking of the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture showcases a variety of ways to thrive in today’s volatile world. Read on to learn how these 50 companies are creating the future today, plus see our top-10 lists of the Most Innovative Companies by sector, from advertising to wellness. We hope you’re as inspired learning from these businesses as we were in .

01 Meituan Dianping

FOR PIONEERING TRANSACTIONAL SUPER APPS

<p><br></p>

[Photo: The Voorhes; Icons: Fae Frey (wallet); Paisley (car); Linseed Studio (heart); Bom Symbols (silverware); Maxim Basinski (plane) at the Noun Project]

In the first half of 2018, Meituan Dianping—a Chinese tech platform that expedites the booking and delivery of services such as food, hotel stays, and movie tickets—facilitated 27.7 billion transactions (worth $33.8 billion) for more than 350 million people in 2,800 cities. That’s 1,783 Meituan-enabled services every second of every day, with each customer using it an average of three times a week.

02 Grab

FOR LEVERAGING TRANSPORTATION AS THE PLATFORM TO CREATE A SUPER APP FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

In Southeast Asia, Grab, the Singapore-based ride-hailing company, forced Uber out of the region in 2018 and acquired its local operations. A few months later, it expanded its app to offer its 130 million users not only food delivery and travel booking, but also financial and other services. These efforts helped Grab hit $1 billion in revenue in 2018 and attract more than $3 billion in fresh funding to expand. Later this year, it’ll add healthcare services from Ping An, the Chinese digital health giant.

03 NBA

FOR GIVING EVERY FAN A COURTSIDE SEAT

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

In an age of distraction, the NBA holds people’s attention. Last year, the league broke attendance records for the fourth straight season; its streaming service grew subscribers by 63%; and total revenue increased 25%. One reason: the year-old NBA 2K League, the first extension of pro sports into esports, which has 21 teams and games that stream on Twitch. “It democratizes our sport,” says NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

04 The Walt Disney Company

FOR DIVING INTO THE STREAM

[Illustration: Kevin Moran]

Plenty of venerable media empires aspire to be players in the streaming wars. None is better positioned than Disney, which retooled its organization to deliver its own video services rather than license content to Netflix. “We’ll do a better job than others,” says direct-to-consumer chief Kevin Mayer. “We know [our] brands viscerally.”

05 Stitch Fix

FOR FIXING RETAIL ONE DATA POINT AT A TIME

<p>"It's a totally radical way to sell clothes," says Stitch Fix CEO <b style="">Katrina Lake.</b></p>

“It’s a totally radical way to sell clothes,” says Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake. [Photo: Jason Madara; Hair and makeup: Erika Taniguchi at Kern Represents]

While working on a PhD in astrophysics, Chris Moody used supercomputers to simulate how galaxies crash into each other. For his first nonacademic job, he joined Square as a data scientist in 2013. About a year later, he started talking with some data-scientist friends who were employed at a startup called Stitch Fix, an upstart e-commerce service that delivered boxes of women’s fashion, known as “Fixes,” using a mix of algorithmic and human curation.Moody was mystified. “What on earth are you guys doing at a clothing company?” he recalls asking, admitting that his sartorial taste at the time hewed to “what costs less than ramen?” Their response, though, sent his brain firing. How do you mail customers clothes they’ll love, and that fit them perfectly, without the client ever getting measured or viewing the inventory? Soon he was pushing for a job. “When I was interviewing, I was like, Ooh, this is a place where I’m going to be continuously thinking about this stuff in the shower, going to bed, waking up in the morning.”

06 Sweetgreen

FOR FLAUNTING ITS ROOTS

<p>Sweetgreen's Koginut bowl launched last fall.</p>

Sweetgreen’s Koginut bowl launched last fall. [Photo: Jamie Chung; Food stylist: Ali Nardi at Apostrophe]

With 91 restaurants in eight states and a network of 150 farmers across the country, Sweetgreen has created a fast-casual, farm-to-table empire that’s poised to expand by (at least) another 15 outposts this year. Here’s how the company has embraced innovation to extend its ethos.

07 Apeel Sciences

FOR KEEPING IT FRESH

[Illustration: Kevin Moran]

It’s edible, tasteless, and can double (or triple) the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Following six years of R&D, last May, Apeel Sciences debuted its plant-based coating on avocados at more than 250 grocery chains, including Kroger and Costco. The technology, which slows water loss and oxidation, has already led to savings: Midwest grocer Harps reduced its avocado waste by 60%.

08 Square

FOR PROVIDING A MORE ELEGANT WAY TO PAY

[Illustration: Kevin Moran]

Nine years after launching its credit-card-reading dongle for smartphones, Square continues to find ways to make payments less painful. In October, the company introduced Square Terminal: a single-screen card-reading device (picture a smartphone resting on an angled white base) that offers wireless connectivity, a touch screen, and receipt-printing capability. Just as important, the chic device does not resemble “a 1985 calculator, like most other terminals,” says Jesse Dorogusker, Square’s hardware lead.

09 Oatly

FOR RISING TO THE TOP

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

One of the buzziest food products of 2018? A milk alternative made of pulverized oats. Founded in 1994, Swedish company Oatly was the first manufacturer to commercialize oat milk, but it was only after launching in the U.S. in 2016 that the product became a sensation, at one point last year selling for $200 per case online.

10 Twitch

FOR LIVE-STREAMING THE REVOLUTION

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

“Where gamers go, everyone else follows,” says Sara Clemens, COO of Twitch, the video service owned by Amazon. Once the domain of video-game aficionados, Twitch is now pulling in mainstream viewers with its vision for the future of live TV. Last fall, it reworked its IRL channel to promote subcategories for cooking, fitness, and talk shows.

11 Target

FOR INCUBATING CULT BRANDS IN-HOUSE

<p>Target's two-year-old Project 62 furniture line, which includes the Copley Plastic Counter Stool, has given the company new momentum.</p>

Target’s two-year-old Project 62 furniture line, which includes the Copley Plastic Counter Stool, has given the company new momentum. [Photo: Jamie Chung]

One room is full of sequins and kids’ clothes. Another has lamps and tables, and yet another houses beakers of various dishwashing detergents. This is Target’s Minneapolis-based design lab, where Julie Guggemos, the company’s senior VP of product design, leads the creation of hundreds of thousands of items for the company’s in-house brands.

12 Shopify

FOR SELLING OUT

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

What do Kith, Ford, and NFL running back Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Mode boutique have in common? They’re among the more than 600,000 merchants that rely on Shopify’s e-commerce tools to sell products. In 2018, Shopify introduced one-click ordering—using any payment method—as well as chat-based commerce and AR tools to showcase large items like furniture.

13 AnchorFree

FOR FENDING OFF MALWARE AND ONLINE SURVEILLANCE

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

AnchorFree’s Hotspot Shield VPN, software that encrypts users’ online activity, was downloaded 100 million times in 2018 (up from 70 million in 2017). “Amid every global security or censorship event, we have massive spikes in usage,” says cofounder and CEO David Gorodyansky.

14 Peloton

FOR SHAPING FITNESS CLASSES INTO MUST-SEE TV

<p><b style="">Chase Tucker </b>leads a live boot camp class at Peloton's West Village studio in New York City.</p>

Chase Tucker leads a live boot camp class at Peloton’s West Village studio in New York City. [Photo: Andrew Cutraro]

Seven years after launching as a stationary bike company that allowed subscribers to live-stream digital cycling classes, Peloton has morphed into a $700-million-a-year-in-revenue fitness powerhouse that produces hundreds of hours of videos for a community that includes runners, yogis, and more. “We are a content creation shop at this point,” says cofounder and CEO John Foley.

15 Alibaba Group

FOR BRINGING AI TO MARKET

[Ilustration: Mauco Sosa]

Chinese commerce giant Alibaba’s Hema Xiansheng stores are the showpiece of what it calls “New Retail,” the seamless blending of the digital and physical experience. “Consumers don’t think about the world online versus offline,” says Alibaba Group president Michael Evans. “Neither should brands and retailers.”

16 Truepic

FOR HELPING US BELIEVE OUR EYES

[Photos: The Voorhes; Abel Mitja Varela/Getty Images (inset image)]

Early one morning in April 2017, a series of horrific photos and videos began hitting Facebook and YouTube showing civilians in a rebel-held area of northern Syria writhing on the ground and gasping for oxygen as deadly sarin-based gas—which witnesses said was dropped from the sky by the Syrian government—filled their lungs. It was one of the worst chemical attacks in the country’s nearly decade-long conflict, yet the United Nations Security Council failed to adopt a resolution to intervene. They were stymied by Russia and its allies, who dismissed the visual evidence as staged.

17 Apple

FOR PUSHING ITS PROCESSORS

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

Apple’s most impressive new product of 2018 wasn’t a phone or a tablet, but a chip: the A12 Bionic. Debuting in last fall’s iPhones, it’s the industry’s first processor based on a seven-nanometer manufacturing process. The A12’s 6.9 billion transistors deliver dramatically faster performance, lower power consumption, and more raw muscle for intensive applications.

18 Unity Technologies

FOR LETTING BUSINESSES BUILD LIKE GAMERS

[Illustration: Kevin Moran]

Video-game development company Unity Technologies is known for software that lets developers build 3D animations, in real time, at a fraction of traditional costs. (Users pay Unity a flat subscription fee rather than a percentage of game revenues.) In 2018, the company expanded its 3D developer tool kit to a number of new industries, including architecture, film, and automotive.

19 Domino’s

FOR PICKING UP THE PACE

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

Last year, Domino’s tallied more than 60% of its U.S. sales via digital orders, achieved its 30th straight quarter of same-store sales growth, and saw its stock rise 22% in a tumultuous market. These milestones were driven by the company’s efforts to get its pies into people’s hands as quickly as possible, including geofencing public parks to enable outdoor delivery and challenging cities to improve their roads in a cheeky, faux-PSA campaign.

20 Plaid

FOR EMPOWERING FINANCIAL APPS

[Illustration: Illustration: Kevin Moran]

Mobile apps now allow consumers to trade stocks and crypto (Robinhood), save money (Acorns and Qapital), and make payments (Venmo)—and most have one thing in common: Plaid. Its technology, a suite of banking APIs, enables developers to connect new digital tools to legacy financial systems.

21 Universal Music Group

FOR FINDING HARMONY AMID DISRUPTION

[Photos: Jason Richardson/Alamy Stock Photo (Swift); Prince Williams/Wireimage/Getty Images (Drake); Cheshire Snapper/Alamy Stock Photo (Mendez); Marta Perez/EFE/Alamy Live News (Mr Eazi); Matt Crossick/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo (Malone); Lev Radin/Alamy Stock Photo (The Weeknd); NBC/Getty Images (Musgraves); Kevin Winters/Getty Images for iHeartRadio (Grande)]

There’s a good chance that your favorite bop from 2018 came from a Universal Music Group artist: Drake’s Scorpion was the top album of the year on Apple Music, Ariana Grande was Spotify’s most-streamed female artist, and Taylor Swift’s Reputation ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s year-end album chart. Amid the music industry’s digital transformation, Universal is redefining what a modern label should look like. Its recent landmark deal with Taylor Swift promises profits to artists should Universal sell its reported 4% stake in Spotify.

22 Airtable

FOR ENCOURAGING ADMINS TO THINK LIKE DEVELOPERS

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

Airtable is a cloud-based workflow system that lets anyone—from intern to CEO—analyze data in a non-scary way. The six-year-old startup’s cult status and $1.1 billion valuation stem from how easily Airtable users can work with data to unlock insights, foster collaboration, and generate reports.

23 Lineage Logistics

FOR KNOWING HOW TO CHILL

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

You’ve probably eaten something today that was shipped by Lineage Logistics. About 90% of the food Americans consume requires refrigeration at some point during transport, and Lineage provides that service for some 3,000 customers, including food giants Walmart, Tyson, and McDonald’s.

24 Kano

FOR CODING MAGIC

[Illustration: Kevin Moran]

As CEO of Kano, which makes kits that let anyone code and build their own computerized toys, Alex Klein is on a mission to “give [people] an understanding of—and influence over—the tech in their lives.” In October, Klein launched the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit, a $99 wand-building set that teaches users how to program accelerometers, magnetometers, and gestural controls.

25 Winc

FOR MAKING MILLENNIALS OENOPHILES

<p>Winc's $13 Finke's Sparkling White Blend was designed as an affordable alternative to champagne.</p>

Winc’s $13 Finke’s Sparkling White Blend was designed as an affordable alternative to champagne. [Photo: Jamie Chung; Food stylist: Ali Nardi at Apostrophe]

Subscription wine club Winc became one of the top-50 wineries in the U.S. last year by flipping the typical business model on its head. While traditional vintners make a wine and then market it, Winc creates bottles based on more than 5 million customer ratings from its 75% millennial subscriber base. “Our winemaking team has done an incredible job of taking those signals and sourcing the grapes,” says cofounder Brian Smith.

26 Zola

FOR PROPOSING A BETTER WAY TO DO E-COMMERCE

<p>Zola cofoundera <b style="">Shan-Lyn</b>&nbsp;<b style="">Ma</b> and <b style="">Nobu</b>&nbsp;<b style="">Nakaguchi </b>help couples through the entire wedding process.</p>

Zola cofoundera Shan-Lyn Ma and Nobu Nakaguchi help couples through the entire wedding process. [Photo: Aaron Richter]

Shan-Lyn Ma and Nobu Nakaguchi, both Gilt Groupe alumni, had seen firsthand the things that can derail an e-commerce company, such as excessive inventory and a cumbersome returns process. “We kept those in mind when we started Zola,” says Ma. More than 500,000 couples have since used the five-year-old service to create wedding websites, guest lists, and registries of products from more than 600 brands.

27 LanzaTech

FOR TURNING CARBON EMISSIONS INTO POWER

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

Last spring, a steel mill in a city east of Beijing began transforming carbon emissions into fuel, thanks to a first-of-its-kind bioreactor filled with microbes that eat waste gases and produce ethanol—as many as 16 million gallons a year at the mill. The six-year-old Chicago-area biotech company LanzaTech designed the system, which can be used at a variety of industrial sites, in an effort “to show the world that carbon reuse is feasible, possible, and can make economic sense,” says CEO Jennifer Holmgren.

28 JioSaavn

FOR DANCING TO INDIA’S RHYTHM

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

Apple Music is gaining a foothold in India, and Spotify plans to enter the market in 2019, but “to achieve scale in India you need local advantage,” says JioSaavn CEO Rishi Malhotra. The music-streaming company, which was formed in October 2018 when streaming startup Saavn merged with telco giant Reliance’s JioMusic service, offers more than 40 million tracks in 15 regional languages for 38 million monthly active users.

29 Jumio

FOR SECURING YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY

[Illustration: Kevin Moran]

Jumio is the service that allows you to upload a photo ID and snap a selfie to verify your identity for a bank, WeWork, or Airbnb account instantly. In 2018, the company launched a new AI lab, where researchers train algorithms to identify the fraud risk of an ID and automatically direct those that warrant further scrutiny to human reviewers.

30 Foundation Medicine

FOR MATCHING CANCER PATIENTS TO BREAKTHROUGH TREATMENTS

[Photo: The Voorhes]

The promise of precision medicine is becoming a reality in cancer treatment, where patients now routinely have tumors genomically tested before deciding on how to respond. Just over a year ago, Foundation Medicine received FDA approval for FoundationOne CDx, a test that analyzes tissue samples for alterations across 324 genes known to drive cancer, helping oncologists steer patients to immunotherapies, clinical trials, or genetically matched drugs made by partners.

31 Arterys

FOR SCANNING SMARTLY

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

Early detection through a CT scan can be the difference between life and death for lung cancer patients, improving the five-year survival rate from 16% to 56%. Radiology specialists, however, are in short supply and often overworked, leading to waiting lists and errors.

32 Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

FOR FIGHTING DISEASE AT THE SOURCE

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

Last August, Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals became the first company to bring an RNA interference (RNAi) treatment to market, winning FDA approval for its drug Onpattro. The drug treats peripheral nerve damage and other symptoms in people with the rare and previously untreatable condition of hereditary amyloidosis.

33 Beautycounter

FOR MOBILIZING AGAINST TOXINS

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

Direct-to-consumer skincare and cosmetic brand Beautycounter refuses to use more than 1,500 legal but questionable chemicals in its products, but for founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew, there’s another number that’s even more important: 40,000. That’s how many remote salespeople help promote the company’s expanding line of clean-beauty products, such as its new biodegradable makeup-remover wipes.

34 Sonder

FOR CREATING A HOTEL CHAIN THAT OPERATES LIKE AIRBNB

[Illustration: Kevin Moran]

“Early on, we thought: How do we deconstruct the services and operations of a hotel, and [rebuild] them in the age of mobile phones?” says Francis Davidson, founder and CEO of the short-term apartment-rental company Sonder. Combining Airbnb-like rooms with the consistency of a stylish boutique-hotel chain, Sonder has knit together a network of more than 2,000 rentals in 18 cities across North America and Europe over the past seven years.

35 Indigo Ag

FOR CULTIVATING RESILIENT PLANTS

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

Indigo Ag develops crops capable of surviving climate change. The company finds plants thriving where they shouldn’t, then tests them for unique microbes that the company can use in natural seed coatings to cultivate additional hardy specimens. In 2018, Indigo’s resilient corn provided over 10% more yield per acre than traditional seed.

36 Nubank

FOR DIRECT-DEPOSITING TRUST

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

Brazilians have traditionally been able to bank only with a handful of large institutions that charge some of the highest lending rates globally. Four-year-old Nubank, now the largest digital bank outside of Asia, with 5 million users, offers a compelling alternative with its low-fee credit cards and payment accounts.

37 GOAT

FOR FEEDING THE HYPEBEASTS

<p>GOAT cofounder and CEO <b style="">Eddy</b>&nbsp;<b style="">Lu</b> has grown his sneaker resale platform by investing in authentication tools.</p>

GOAT cofounder and CEO Eddy Lu has grown his sneaker resale platform by investing in authentication tools. [Photo: Glaskew II]

For his first game as an L.A. Laker last October, Kyle Kuzma entered the Staples Center in a pair of vintage 2003 Nike Zoom Flights. It was partially to honor teammate LeBron James, who had worn the style for his NBA debut, but also to build awareness. Not for Nike: Kuzma isn’t a spokesperson. He’s the first brand ambassador for GOAT, the online sneaker-resale platform.

38 Snøhetta

FOR REBUILDING THE LIBRARY

[Photo: Michael Grimm]

One of the first things you notice in the new Calgary Central Library, which opened in November, is what isn’t there: a reference desk. Instead, librarians roam the soaring, four-story building, approaching patrons the way salespeople greet customers at the Apple Store. International architecture firm Snøhetta, which designed the $245 million structure with the Canadian firm Dialog, has some experience with libraries.

39 African Leadership University

FOR SCALING HIGHER EDUCATION FOR AFRICA’S RISING GENERATION

<p>"We don't have to replicate what's not working in other pars of the world," says <b style="">Fred</b>&nbsp;<b style="">Swaniker</b>, who is rethinking higher education in Africa.</p>

“We don’t have to replicate what’s not working in other pars of the world,” says Fred Swaniker, who is rethinking higher education in Africa. [Photo: Andile Buka]

With 50% of its population under the age of 19, Africa will be home to the world’s largest workforce by 2035: a billion-plus people who will transform the continent. Statistics like these inspired Ghanaian entrepreneur Fred Swaniker, who opened the African Leadership Academy high school in Johannesburg, in 2008, to turn his attention to higher education. He founded his first African Leadership University (ALU) in Mauritius in 2015, and, two years later, opened a second undergraduate campus in Kigali, Rwanda.

40 Fanatics

FOR SCORING IN THE CLUTCH

[Illustration: Mauco Sosa]

Pro sports teams can now create merchandise that responds to fan demand near instantaneously, thanks to online retailer Fanatics. The company offers a new low-bandwidth shopping site that works in stadiums with poor cell service, and a platform for predicting demand using myriad digital cues. As a result, NFL merch sales rose 50% last year and Fanatics won deals with major European soccer clubs and esports’ Overwatch League.

41 Unmade

FOR DESIGNING A LESS WASTEFUL FASHION INDUSTRY

[Photo: The Voorhes]

An estimated 15% of all clothes and shoes churned out daily in the $3 trillion global fashion industry go unsold and are dumped in landfills or—worse—incinerated. “Fashion is driven by guesswork months before something is sold in a store,” says Hal Watts, cofounder and CEO of London-based software company Unmade, which combats overproduction by enabling clothing brands to offer shoppers customizable items that are unlikely to sit on shelves.

42 Modern Fertility

FOR SIMPLIFYING FERTILITY TESTS

<p>Modern Fertility's <b style="">Afton</b>&nbsp;<b style="">Vechery</b>, left, and <b style="">Carly Leahy</b> founded the company to make fertility tests less stressful and more affordable.</p>

Modern Fertility’s Afton Vechery, left, and Carly Leahy founded the company to make fertility tests less stressful and more affordable. [Photo: Jessica Chou]

Modern Fertility began selling its $159 home fertility test last May, the first to measure eight reproduction-related hormones from a finger-prick sample. Recent medical advances have made finger-prick testing routine for drug analysis, nutrition monitoring, and HIV screening, but it wasn’t widely applied to fertility testing until Modern Fertility and its partner labs ran studies that confirmed the method’s accuracy for measuring target hormones.

43 Rocket Lab

FOR BRINGING SPACE DOWN TO EARTH

[Illustration: Kevin Moran]

While Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk brag about their enormous rockets, capable of carrying heavy payloads into space, L.A.-based Rocket Lab has embraced a different strategy. Its 56-foot Electron rocket can carry only about 500 pounds, but it can reach space for just $5.7 million per launch (SpaceX, by contrast, spends $62 million to $90 million per trip), making putting satellites into orbit a possibility for companies both small and large.

44 A24

FOR FORGING AN INDIE FILM COMMUNITY

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

The movie Eighth Grade, YouTube star Bo Burnham’s directorial debut about middle-school Sturm und Drang in the age of social media, was a hit among critics at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. But it became a commercial success a few months later thanks to a shrewd campaign by the New York–based boutique film and TV studio A24.

45 Teachers Pay Teachers

FOR REWARDING TALENTED EDUCATORS

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

Founded more than a decade ago by public school teacher Paul Edelman, New York City–based Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) enables educators to sell peer-rated lesson plans to one another. In January 2018, TpT expanded its reach with TpT for Schools, which allows administrators to place their own school- or district-wide orders for educational resources, including single-topic or full-year curricula, classroom management tools, and videos.

46 Ammunition

FOR MAKING THE ORDINARY EXTRAORDINARY

[Photo: Jamie Chung]

If the idea of a smart coffee cup sounds silly to you, you probably haven’t tried the Ember Ceramic Mug. Envisioned by the San Francisco design studio Ammunition, it has a built-in heater to keep coffee warm for hours, but otherwise looks and feels like any other mug. This is the firm’s specialty: “We’ve all experienced technology that creates barriers,” says Ammunition partner Robert Brunner. “We focus on amplifying the everyday.”

47 Sesame Workshop

FOR EDUCATING REFUGEE CHILDREN

[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]

For nearly 50 years, Sesame Street has taught children at home. But what about kids who have no home? “Those impacted the most from displacement—young children—are receiving the least,” says Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop’s president of global impact. In late 2017, the organization received $100 million from the Mac­Arthur Foundation and expanded its efforts with the International Rescue Committee.

48 Acorns

FOR FEATHERING OUR NEST EGGS

[Photo illustration: Fast Company]

“Don’t make people do the math,” says Noah Kerner, CEO of digital-investment pioneer Acorns, which is on a mission to help people squirrel away money as effortlessly as possible. The company launched in 2014 with a product that rounds up users’ daily purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically puts the difference into investment accounts; a growing stable of brand partners (320 and counting) offer further contributions for qualifying purchases.

49 Mozilla

FOR QUARANTINING FACEBOOK

<p>Mozilla COO <b style="">Denelle</b>&nbsp;<b style="">Dixon</b> and her team are making online browsing safer.</p>

Mozilla COO Denelle Dixon and her team are making online browsing safer. [Photo: Jessica Chou]

When Facebook users learned last March that the social media giant had given their sensitive information to political-data firm Cambridge Analytica, Mozilla (parent company of the security-focused browser Firefox) reacted fast: Within eight hours, the product team had built a browser extension called the Facebook Container.

50 Punch Bowl Social

FOR COOKING UP DELICIOUS SOCIAL SPACES

[Photo: Courtesy of Amber Boutwell/Punch Bowl Social]

When Robert Thompson opened the first Punch Bowl Social—an “eatertainment” concept that combines games and food—in his hometown of Denver, in 2012, he had one thing in mind: to encourage real, human interaction among millennials, inspired by the Victorian-era tradition of gathering around a bowl of punch. “This generation demands experiences, which also manifests itself in food and beverage,” he says.

Source: https://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2019