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25 Most Innovative Startups 2012

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Though they might not yet be household names, these companies are among this year’s Technology Pioneers of 2012, a select group of twenty-five startups identified by the World Economic Forum for their potential to “significantly [disrupt] the way business and society operate,” according to the WEF.

These twenty-five companies were chosen from among hundreds nominated by “members, constituents and collaborators of the World Economic Forum, as well as by the larger public,” and were evaluated according to five key criteria: “innovation,” “potential impact,” “growth and sustainability,” “proof of concept” and “leadership.” They range from biotech and bio-fuel companies to cloud computing and crowdsourced-funding firms. Followings are the Names -:

  • Kickstarter – Kickstarter, a website that operates on an all-or-nothing crowdsourced funding method, offers musicians, filmmakers, artists, writers, entrepreneurs and others a way to raise money for projects they want to bring to life.
  • Dropbox – Whether you’re just backing up your files or tend to work on several computers, Dropbox is a handy tool for saving and accessing important documents across multiple devices. The service saves your work to an easy-to-access folder available on any computer as well as the Dropbox website. It’s available for free (though users can only store 2GB of data) or for a monthly fee for users that want access to over 50GB of storage.
  • Tabula Digita – Improving the world of digital education, Tabula Digita is behind video games intended to engage elementary, middle and high school students in learning math, reading and science.
  • 1366 Technologies – The team at 1366 Technologies first developed their mission to make the cost of solar power competitive with other energy resources at an MIT laboratory. Today, the company remains hard at work building silicon-based energy solutions. A $150 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, announced in June, will help keep this Boston-based company high on the list of green tech companies to watch.
  • Altobridge – Altobridge, which describes itself as a “wireless network solutions provider,” says its mission is to “bridge the digital divide.” Since 2002, Altobridge has been working to, “remove the technical and commercial barriers that denied remote communities affordable mobile voice and internet connectivity.”
  • CloudFlare – CloudFlare is a “virtual fraud and abuse team” that pools together a community of web masters to protect up-and-coming websites from hackers, spammers, and other digital demons on the Internet. Anyone can use the service and to empower and secure their webpages.
  • Appirio – Appirio is aiming high by helping enterprises adopt cloud-based applications and platforms. Founded in 2006, the company has worked with big names including Google and Amazon to create, develop, and implement cloud computing strategies.
  • Attero Recycling – Attero Recycling seeks to put an end to the growing number of issues posed by e-waste by developing new ways to recycle these discarded electronics.
  • Biocartis – Biocartis is a biotech company based in Switzerland and the Netherlands that was founded in 2007 and is working on advancing and expanding the study of molecular diagnostic platforms.
  • Diagnostics For All – Diagnostics For All is a non-profit organization that creates simple, low-cost diagnostics specifically designed for the world’s regions that lack efficient access to urban hospitals and medical centers. In February, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded DFA almost $3 million to support new projects.
  • DoubleVerify – DoubleVerify is the self-proclaimed “pioneer of online media verification,” protecting enterprises from the “rogue” side of Internet advertising. The company has worked with major brands including Coca-Cola, Verizon, Bank of America, Walmart, and Nike.
  • Driptech – Based in Silicon Valley, Driptech works to bring efficient water irrigation systems to small-scale farmers in developing nations. The company was founded Peter Frykman, who first recognized the need for improved irrigation technology when he visited Ethiopia while completing his mechanical engineering PhD degree at Stanford University.
  • EcoMotors International – EcoMotors International develops lighter, more efficient, and less expensive internal combustion engines for a “cleaner, healthier, more sustainable future.” And it’s not just cars that EcoMotors has its eye on — the company hopes to apply its innovations to marine and agricultural vehicles, as well as stationary generators.
  • Electro Power Systems – ElectroPS develops and manufactures advance fuel cell systems that generate primary and back-up energy for companies worldwide. The fuel cell technology provides 100 percent clean energy.
  • Financial Inclusion Network and Operations – Headquartered in Mumbai, India, FINO develops technology solutions across the banking, micro-finance and government sectors. For example, the company is leading efforts to create a branch-less banking system in India.
  • Joule Unlimited – Joule Unlimited hopes to create business “around sustainable, localized solar fuel production.” The company uses engineered photosynthetic microorganisms to produce diesel, ethanol and other chemicals that aren’t dependent on biomass feedstocks, land or water.
  • Lending Club – Lending Club allows members to invest and borrow money directly from each other without involving a bank. Lending Club claims that it allows users to “eliminate the cost and complexity of traditional banks–to offer you better rates.”
  • Living PlanIT – Living PlanIT is a company focusing on developing new technological innovations that can be applied to entire cities to improve living conditions within the communities. The company says it is working to dispel the belief that “improved utility or sustainability is unaffordable.”
  • Mocana – Mocana works to develop security devices to protect non-PC devices, such as smartphones and smartgrids, from hackers and harmful viruses. The Smart Device Security platform “secures all aspects of IP addressable devices as well as the information, applications and services that run on them,” according to Mocana.
  • Palantir Technologies – The brainchild of PayPal alumni and Stanford computer scientists, Palantir Technologies offers products that aim to improve the way different types of data are analyzed, presented and used. The company’s two products, Palantir Government and Palantir Finance, are reportedly used in defense and intelligence communities, as well as in some of the world’s top financial institutions.
  • Picarro -Picarro produces gas analyzers that are used to test air quality in situations ranging from “food safety” and “air quality” to “landfill gas measurement” and “greenhouse gas measurement.” 
  • Protean Electric – Protean Electric designs, develops and manufactures “in-wheel electric drive systems for hybrid and battery-electric vehicles.” The company says their “disruptive in-wheel vehicle propulsion system [provides] power to each wheel under the control of a central Electronic Control Unit (ECU) using advanced software control technology.”
  • Solazyme -Solazyme uses algae and to produce oil and bio-materials. “Through our world class genetic and chemical engineering capabilities, we’re coupling proprietary strains of algae with standard industrial biotechnology; converting what the earth produces naturally into what society needs most – oil,” Solazyme explains. 
  • First Energy – First Energy produces cooking stoves under the “Oorja” brand that are “virtually smokeless” and more efficient than traditional alternatives. The company promises that its innovations can help people and small businesses in rural villages save time, money, and the environment “First Energy Private Ltd’s solution is an inexpensive, highly efficient cooking stove, which burns biomass pellets, known as ‘oorja’ that are made from the compressed residue of agricultural by-products and rely on a radically new biomass gasification technology developed and patented by the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore,” writes the WEF. “The pellet stoves make it possible for an Indian family to serve a meal for five for roughly one rupee per person.”
  • Tethys BioScience – Tethys BioScience uses blood tests to assess a person’s risk for potential diseases, allowing doctors to mediate with the proper treatment to possibly stop or delay their onset. The company created the PreDx Diabetes Risk Score, a blood test and algorithm that helps determine a patient’s risk for type 2 diabetes.

Source :-

  • The 25 Most Innovative Startups (
  • DoubleVerify Chosen As 2012 World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer (
  • CloudFlare, Dropbox, Palantir And Kickstarter Named Technology Pioneers By The World Economic Forum (
  • Y Combinator applications are now open for winter 2012 (
  • Pearson, Intel Capital and Ascend Venture Group Invest in Innovative Educational Game Designer, Tabula Digita (
  • Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, Founders of Dropbox (