150 case studies … with live updates
% Arabica – Asian minimalism, African coffee roastery, and Arabic meeting place
"% Arabica is about my love for coffee, design, and seeing the world" says Ken Shoji, founder and CEO of % Arabica. Ken's story began in Tokyo, although I found him in Kuwait. "My father was the owner of a manufacturing and trading company, and together with his frequent business trips, they would take me overseas whenever possible – ultimately helping to inspire my love of multiculturalism, design, and architecture."
& Other Stories – Where women curate their own personal style
& Other Stories headquarters in Stockholm are surprisingly low-key. Located on a quiet street in a residential part of the city, it's a far cry from the vision of ultra-hip Swedish cool that H&M and its other brands seek to project on the world. Unlike Zara's portfolio of fashion brands that target different ages and attitudes, H&M's portfolio is more a collection of different lifestyle concepts. More interesting, and distinctive.
1Atelier – Personalisation becomes the new luxury
1Atelier is reinventing bespoke luxury accessories for the 21st century, helping consumers to create exquisitely handcrafted handbags, and more.
23andMe – The $99 DNA profile could change your life
23andMe can transform our attitudes to health, diet and mortality … but also entire industries, drugs driven by future needs, healthcare refocused on prevention, insurance premiums to reflecting new risks.
77 Diamonds – Diamonds are the real thing, even for online retailers.
Europe’s largest online diamond jeweller, set up by two twenty-something friends, one a banker, the other the son of a diamond miner. Today they run a $25m business, across 77 countries, delivering finely crafted diamond jewellery direct to consumers through a luxury service that offers great value.
AeroFarms – Vertical farming in a crowded world
Aerofarms grow delicious, nutritious leafy greens and herbs without sunlight and soil. Crops get the perfect amount of moisture and nutrients misted directly onto their roots in a completely controlled environment. With patented technology, Aerofarms take indoor vertical farming to a new level of precision and productivity with minimal environmental impact and virtually zero risk.
Aeromobil – The incredible flying cars from Bratislava
The flying car has long captured the imagination of the futurist. For Stefan Klein it was his life's passion. When he retired from designing cars, the inventor set his mind to adding wings.
Agua Bendita – Handmade swimwear from the colourful scraps of Colombia
Agua Bendita makes super-luxury handmade bikinis, inspired by their Colombian roots: gorgeous, sophisticated, and alive with colour and innovative fabrics. Catalina Álvarez and Mariana Hinestroza founded the brand whilst studying fashion, inspired by the scraps of brightly coloured fabrics discarded by Catalina's father's clothing factory. Nearly a decade later, their suits are seen in stores around the world and on celebrities on the beaches of the world. What makes them particularly special are the contributions of Colombian artisans, 700 single mothers with a passion for making beautiful clothes.
Airbnb – Now you can belong anywhere
Airbnb is a great example of collaborative consumption, making more of under-utilised assets, whilst also enjoying the social experience of sharing. All built around a sustaining community.
Alibaba – Connecting the world's businesses
Alibaba is a trading platform for the new world order, enabling a small business in remote China to deal directly with a large corporate, for any entrepreneur to access a global marketplace.
Allbirds – The world's most comfortable shoes
Allbirds is on a mission to prove that comfort, good design and sustainability don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer brand designs environmentally friendly footwear, and is a certified B Corporation. Co-founder Tim Brown got his idea while he was vice captain of the New Zealand football team. He had previously attended business school and used to make leather shoes for friends but was aware of how uncomfortable they were. In 2014, he received a research grant from the New Zealand wool industry to engineer a sneaker, and then launched his idea on Kickstarter, raising $119,000 in five days. After launching on Kickstarter, Brown teamed up with Joey Zwillinger, a biotech engineer and renewable materials expert. The co-founders began developing their process and officially launched Allbirds in March 2016. Within 30 months, the company was valued at $1.4 billion.
Amazon – A mission to become the world's most customer-centric business
Amazon, from Dash to drones, Alexa and Echo, uses technology to disrupt and redefine a range of adjacent industry, and then do it again, whilst adding new business models that create a convenient and personalised customer experience.
Apple – Designed in California, loved around the world
Apple’s story is retold a thousand times. But in a world of relentless innovation and imitation, the brand needs to reassert itself, as more than its products, and more than Steve Jobs.
ARM – Designing the architecture of the digital world
ARM designs the chips inside most of the world’s smartphones, and increasingly other devices, creating an ecosystem of research and innovation with its partners, and most of the world’s device brands as licensee customers.
Ashmei – Sportswear without compromise
Focusing on designing the very best apparel for serious runners and triathletes, Ashmei refuses to compromise. Combining the best fabric and production from around the globe, focusing on niche audiences who are prepared to pay more for their passion, outplays the mainstream brands.
Aspiration – Investing with a conscience
Aspiration was born to be the financial firm for everyone. Because everyone deserves access to the best banking and investing products. Everyone deserves a financial partner they are confident they can trust. And everyone deserves to put their money in an institution that puts “good” ahead of “greed.” Profits are important. But what sets Aspiration apart is the belief that people are too. Our “Pay What Is Fair” fees mean we go to work every day committed to do great for our customers. And as a financial firm with a conscience, we are motivated by the mission to help you make money and make a difference at the same time.
Aussie Farmers Direct – Fast and fresh, field to fork
Aussies love the outdoors, fresh and natural. So the farmers jumped on the milk floats and brought together the best of local, authentic produce from across the nation, ready to deliver direct to the door. The business model is lean and networked, taps current trends and builds community.
Ava Winery – Turning water into wine ... including a $50 replica Dom Pérignon
Ava is a venture-backed food technology startup based in San Francisco creating synthetic wine without grapes or fermentation by analysing the molecular profile of wines to recreate and even perfect them. Ava's mission is to recreate the experience of wine without having to recreate the process of traditional winemaking, making the great vintages available to everyone.
Babylon Health – Everyone's personal health service
Babylon seeks to to democratise healthcare by putting an accessible and affordable health service into the hands of every person on earth. In order to achieve this babylon has brought together one of the largest teams of scientists, clinicians, mathematicians and engineers to focus on combining the ever growing computing power of machines with the best medical expertise of humans to create a comprehensive, immediate and personalised health service and make it universally available.
Basmaty – The Arabic cookery community
Basmaty brings together the best ideas for cooking across the Middle East. The content-based community shares culinary ideas and inspirations from the regions top chefs and food entrepreneurs.
BeMyGuest – Taking Asian travellers off the beaten path
BeMyGuest is your gateway to Asia, in one sense an online marketplace of small travel companies from across the continent, but more importantly a traveller's guide to the most unusual, interesting and spectacular places in a largely undiscovered continent.
Boom Supersonic – Supersonic is back with a boom
Supersonic flight has existed for over 50 years. Yet the Concorde of the 70s and 80s seems a distant memory, and everyone returned to jumbos and dreamliners. Until now. A breakthrough aerodynamic design, state-of-the-art engine technology, and advanced composite materials enable an ultra-fast airliner as efficient and affordable as business class in today's subsonic wide-body airliners.
Brewdog – Beer for punks, irreverent and brilliant
James Watt and Martin Dickie were bored of the industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales that dominated the UK beer market. Sat in their local Scottish pub, they decided the best option was to brew our own. In April 2007 BrewDog was born.
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. – A gallon of gravity, a can of X-Ray vision
Charities and non-profits can be some of the most innovative businesses. Yet too often they forget to engage and inspire their audiences, with all predictable fundraising campaigns. Not here!
Brunello Cucinelli – Cashmere from the village of Solomeo
“During my lifetime I have always nurtured a dream: useful work to achieve an important goal. I have always felt that business profit alone was not enough to fulfil my dream and a higher purpose was to be found”.
BuzzFeed – Shaking up media across the globe
The digital media powerhouse, read by over 200 million people every month, was declared the world's most innovative company in 2016.
Bytedance – Chinese AI-enabled news and entertainment platform
If you live outside of Asia, you’re about to get more familiar with the five-year-old internet news and video aggregator. Bytedance is already a household name in China, where its Toutiao information and content-recommendation service garners north of 120 million daily active users in the country. In early 2018 the Beijing-based company, with a valuation around $20 billion, started making bigger moves to crack into the world of mobile video, media and entertainment.
Casper – Reinventing the way we sleep
The concept was simple: Produce the best mattress possible at an affordable price, sell a single model, and deliver it quickly, for free, with a 100-day trial period. It worked: Casper had sales of $1 million in its first month. The company has since raised $70 million in venture capital, grown to 120 employees, and hit $100 million in cumulative sales in its first 2 years.
City Football Group – Reinventing the football club, from Manchester to Yokohama
Frank Lampard was reluctant to leave his beloved Chelsea for any other English team. Like many star players in their final years, he chose America, joined New York City FC as they launched into the MLS. He started off well, too well actually, because soon the club's owners wanted him to play elsewhere, for their English club, Manchester City. Lampard had little choice, realising that he'd signed up to a network of clubs, rather than one. It symbolised the future of football.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia – When we believe, we can
CommBank's innovative products and services are all about helping you to achieve more - to find a better home, to travel the world, to serve your customers better, to grow your business faster - its about more than money, its about you.
Corning – Exploring the possibilities of a life made of glass
We live in a world of glass – from tablets to televisions, high rise buildings to Google Glass. But glass breaks. Not if its made for gorillas. Corning has turned itself into an ingredient brand that even adds value to Apple.
Coursera – The best education available to everyone
Coursera, and other MOOCs, are on the verge of fundamentally disrupting education, knowledge and expertise, across the world. By moving the best university courses online, with a business model that allows universal access, they can be transformational on society, and the opportunities for everyone.
Crooked Media – The podcast to save American politics
Crooked Media promises a no bullshit a no-bullshit conversation about politics where you can laugh, cry, scream, ridicule us daily, share your ideas, and hopefully decide that you want to help fix this mess too. That goes for Democrats who want to learn from our party’s mistakes (which is hard because things are so perfect), Republicans ready to hold Trump accountable (fingers crossed on that one!), and everybody, everywhere who’s been asking the same question: What do we do now?
Crystal – This is you, based on everything online
Crystal gives you instant access to millions of personality profiles based on everything that can be found online about each person. You'll even find a profile of yourself. It then gives free communication advice for anyone you meet, showing how your personality relates to theirs, and how you can most effectively engage them, and more.
Ctrip – China's travel market is ready for take off
China's largest travel site, Ctrip, lets users book hotels, flights, and packaged tours around the world. In 2016, an estimated 250 million travelers used the site, making it the world’s second-largest online travel agent. (In 2015, the company booked nearly $50 billion in travel.) Ctrip now owns one of the world's biggest flight metasearch engines following its $1.74 billion purchase of the Edinburgh-based Skyscanner in 2016. And with its recent acquisition of several tour companies in the United States, Ctrip is forming itself into an online travel service that’s part aggregator, part booking platform, and part end-to-end tour operator. In November 2016, Jane Jie Sun became Ctrip’s CEO and director of the board.
CVS Health – The One Stop Health Shop
CVS Health describes itself as a pharmacy innovation company with a simple and clear purpose: helping people on their path to better health.
Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) – The rise of China's drone technology
A drone crashed on the White House lawn in January 2015. A month later, a drone delivered a 9.15-carat diamond ring to Zhang Ziyi, the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon actress, in a marriage proposal engineered by Wang Feng, a rock star in China. Two months after, a drone deposited small amounts of radioactive waste on the rooftop of the Japanese Prime Minister’s office, as a protest against using nuclear power in the country. All three drones were made by Da Jiang Innovations (DJI).
Dalian Wanda – China's Walt Disney, the world's largest property group
Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and operates in four key areas: commercial properties, culture & tourism, e-commerce and department stores. In 2014, the company had assets of 534.1 billion yuan and revenues of 242.48 billion yuan. The company now operates 125 Wanda Plazas, 81 hotels (including 68 five-star hotels), 6,600 cinema screens and 99 department stores nationwide. Looking ahead, by 2020, Wanda aims to grow itself into a leading MNC with assets of 1 trillion yuan, annual revenues of 600 billion yuan and net income of 60 billion yuan.
Darktrace – The world's leading machine learning company for cyber security
Darktrace is the world’s leading machine learning company for cyber security, having developed AI algorithms that mimic the human immune system to defend enterprise networks of all types and sizes. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal’ for all devices and users, updating its understanding as the environment changes.
DBS Bank – A bank for Asia, a bank for the digital world
DBS (the Development Bank of Singapore) leads the way in digital banking innovation, in Asia and across the world. It operates across 18 markets. We are an Asia-centric commercial bank focused on harnessing the region’s long-term potential as the centre of economic gravity shifts eastwards to Asia.
Deliveroo – Food delivered as fast as a kangaroo
Deliveroo is an online food delivery company stretching form the UK across Europe to Dubai, Australia, and Hong Kong. Orders are placed through the Deliveroo website and then self-employed bicycle or motorcycle couriers transport orders from restaurants to customers.
Depop – Instagram meets eBay for millennials
Depop is the “love child of Instagram and eBay”, a mobile-centric marketplace for second-hand teen fashion, and more. The free app enables consumers to easily sell items by taking a square format image, adding a description with hashtags and setting a price. Buyers and sellers can ‘like’ items, message each other, haggle over prices and share comments, creating a community.
Founded in 2011 by industrial designer and creative entrepreneur Simon Beckerman, the company was born in H-Farm, a tech incubator and business startup centre in Italy. In 2012, following a successful launch, Depop set up its headquarters in London and has since opened offices in Milan and New York. The company raised $8m (£5.5m) in 2015 and has grown rapidly ever since.
Diesel – The brand for successful living
Renzo Rosso sees his work as an art and not a science, the company has redefined how a brand sees and communicates with its customers since 1978.
Disney Pixar – Inspiring humanity through the power of storytelling
Pixar creates the world’s most loved movies. Creating animations is relatively slow and costly, but with a focus on character building and incredible storytelling, the brand has created hit after hit. It’s creative process – based around ideas and stories – is a great model for any type of brand building and communication.
Dollar Shave Club – "Our Blades Are F***ing Great"
Dollar Shave Club delivers amazing razors and grooming products for ... a dollar a month. The provocative start-up cuts through an industry built on emotion-driven profit margins to showcase a new world of targeted relevance, disruptive innovation, direct selling, subscription pricing and viral communication.
EcoAlf – Innovative upcycled fashion brand from Madrid
EcoAlf was created by Javier Goyeneche in 2012 to realise innovation in recycled clothing. The idea for a truly sustainable brand was born from a deep frustration with the excessive use of the world’s natural resources and the amount of waste produced by industrialised countries - specifically by the fashion industry. But Ecoalf is more than a conscious clothing brand; it is a mission to create the first generation of recycled products with the same attention to quality, design and technical properties as the best non-recycled products in the market.
Epocrates – The doctor’s brain in the palm of his hand
Instant access to technical and patient knowledge transforms the speed at which doctors can offer diagnosis and treatment. This results in improved decisions, delivering faster treatments, at lower costs.
Ethereum – The next generation blockchain-based cryptocurrency
Vital Buterin is a 22-year-old coder who created the fast-growing new cryptocurrency network Ethereal, and wants to use his technology to disrupt everything. Ethereum is a platform and a programming language that makes it possible for any developer to build and publish next-generation decentralized applications. Ethereum can be used to codify, decentralize, secure and trade just about anything: voting, domain names, financial exchanges, crowdfunding, company governance, contracts and agreements of most kind, intellectual property, and even smart property thanks to hardware integration.
Etsy – The world's largest maker market, bringing the world's most creative people together
Etsy has created given local artisans, and local markets a global reach, bringing together like-minded buyers and sellers as a passionate movement. The business model makes it fair and accessible to the smallest trader.
Ezetap – The Square of India ... cashless payments in fast growth markets.
"Over the next decade, India will move from a cash-based, opaque economy ... to an economy that is digital, instantaneous, and where every citizen is not just on the grid but the quality of their families’ future will be materially better" says Bobby Bose, cofounder of Ezepay.
FanDuel – Making sports more exciting, everyday.
FanDuel is the world-leading online daily fantasy sports company, operating in one of the fastest growing sectors of the sports and entertainment industry. It has become a household name in the US and one of Scotland’s only two unicorn companies, valued at more than $1 billion. Since its launch in 2009, its been disrupting the fantasy sports industry and changing the way millions of people experience sports.
Farfetch – 400 designer boutiques in one place, anywhere, anytime.
Farfetch is a revolutionary way to buy fashion, bringing together hundreds of the world's best independent designer boutiques.
Fatherly – Where Dad's become Superdads, and still have a life
Fatherly is the fastest-growing parenting site on the web, targeting millennial parents who are entering the most inquisitive and acquisitive phase of their lives. Fatherly has already generated over 1bn video views this year, has been named Oprah's favorite website of 2016 and its success capturing the hearts and minds of young parents has been documented in Adweek, CNN, and others. Fatherly has also been nominated twice by the Webby’s as “Best Parenting Site on the Internet” in just its first year in existence. By focusing on dads as well as young mums, Fatherly’s able to capture both sides of the parenting market, provide differentiated content in a space oversaturated with “Mum” content, and hone in on a key insight that millennial parents increasingly share parenting responsibilities and purchasing decisions.
First National Bank – eWallet becomes your financial hub
South Africa's FNB puts innovation at the heart of its culture. The bank’s innovative eWallet, hosted on your phone, acts as a hub for many other creative solutions to making money flow easier and faster.
Freitag – Extraordinary bags from the Swiss design brothers
In 1993, Markus and Daniel Freitag brothers first created their own brand of recycled products, Freitag, using Tarpaulins, inner tubes from bicycles and automobile seatbelts. Freitag brothers have seen commercial success in the global market; yet at the same time, they are in constant pursuit of sustainable business cycle.
GE – Becoming market makers with "brilliant machines"
GE is leading an industrial revolution in applying the “internet of things” to business processes and equipment. The challenge however is to make sense of the new possibilities in ways that capture the imagination of businesses and consumers.
Gïk Live! – Blue wine from Spain
White, red or rose ... wines are presented in conventional options. But then a group of young students read Blue Ocean Strategy, and got inspired to create a blue ocean, of wine.
Glossier – Beauty brand for the Instagram generation
"Women today have different needs than we have had in the past, but beauty companies haven't necessarily been the most reactive to that," says Emily Weiss who launched the skincare and cosmetics brand in 2014. "We wanted to create a very democratic movement, and the channels most fitting that goal were direct, digital ones."
Go-Jek – One-stop everything on demand in Indonesia
Established in 2010 as a motorcycle ride-hailing phone service, Go-Jek has evolved into an on demand provider of transport and other lifestyle services.
goHenry – The bank account for kids, designed by parents
At last-an easy (and fun) way to pay pocket money, and teach your kids good money habits. goHenry is a Pre-paid, Pocket Money Card and App with unique parental controls, for young people aged 6 to 18.
Goldman Sachs – Investment banking enters the consumer market
Marcus Goldman was a German banker, businessman, and financier. He was born in Trappstadt, Bavaria and immigrated to the United States in 1848. He was the founder of Goldman Sachs, which has since become one of the world's largest investment banks. However the bank has started to change its own game, entering the consumer market with "Marcus by Goldman Sachs".
Grail – To detect cancer early, when it can be cured
There are currently between 14 and 15 million cases of cancer reported globally each year. With such early detection Grail has the potential to save millions of lives in the future – before people even realise anything is wrong.
Graze – Snacking reinvented ... fast, healthy, delivered
Graze is a London-based snack company which offers over 200 snack combinations - including nuts, small puddings, and porridge - through snack subscription boxes, an online shop and retailers. It expanded operations to include the United States in 2013, launching snacks into US retailers in 2016. In 2012, The Carlyle Group bought a majority share holding in the business.
Haier – China's global leader in white goods
Haier is a smart living home solution platform leading in the internet era. 100 million users in more than 100 countries, 24 overseas plants, 10 R&D centers, 60 distributors and 140 thousands retailers, the world's number one white good's manufacturer.
Halo Top Creamery – The Healthy Ice Cream from California
Can ice cream ever be healthy? Halo Top Creamery is attracting more ice cream lovers with a promise of lower calories and less guilt. Time magazine named it one of the best inventions of the year. Over the summer of 2017, it also became the best-selling ice cream in America, beating big names like Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs.
Heist Studios – Rethinking what we wear
Heist believes that underwear can be an instrument of progress. While many industries understand today's world’s desire for autonomy, choice and freedom, women’s underwear has lagged behind. Effectively, all women are living in underwear inadequate to their time.
HelloFresh – Say "Hello" to easy home cooking
HelloFresh is on a mission to change the way people eat, forever. As the world's leading meal kit provider, they serve more than 13 million meals per month to over 1.3 million customers in 10 countries across 3 continents.
Hoya Yuniku – The world's first 3D-printed, personalised eyeware
Hoya is a global med-tech company and the leading supplier of innovative high-tech and medical products. Hoya is active in the fields of healthcare and information technology providing eyeglasses, medical endoscopes, intraocular lenses, optical lenses as well as key components for semiconductor devices, LCD panels and HDDs.
Hysteric Glamour – Japanese fashion, inspired by pop and porn
Hysteric Glamour is a Japanese clothing brand created by Nobu Kitamura.
IBM Watson – The smartest machine ever built
Watson is an IBM supercomputer that combines artificial intelligence and sophisticated analytical software as a “question answering” machine. Its applications are complex, but almost endless. Most recently it acquired the assets of the Weather Channel, to become the world's most accurate weather forecaster. It is named for IBM's founder, Thomas J. Watson
Inditex – Fast fashion from La Coruña to Bershka, Mango and Zara
Inditex group has built on the global success of Zara and its fast fashion, to develop a range of retail brands that carefully target adjacent market segments with distinctive and relevant fashions. As markets and trends evolve the portfolio gives the group strength and agility.
Infervision – Chinese AI transforming healthcare
AI is enabling businesses to radically innovate, processing huge amounts of data using machine learning to be more precise and predictive. In the diagnostics of medical conditions, Infervision enables scans to be interpreted more accurately, problems to be identified more quickly, and potential conditions avoided.
Intuitive Surgical – Heart surgery by robot, and the surgeon with the joystick
Intuitive Surgical harnesses robotic technologies to enhance human capability. Better surgery, faster and more precise, is the main benefit, whilst also reducing the time and cost of operations.
Ipsy – Michelle Phan reinvents the beauty industry
Michelle Phan is the world's most successful YouTuber with almost 9 million followers of her daily video posts. She has inspired women across the world through her beauty tutorials, and in making the right choices in a bewildering market. To help them she created Ipsy, where for $10 each month, subscribers receive a Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products, showcasing the best products and stylists, but also commoditising their brands. Ipsy is now the world's largest online beauty community, and a fabulous example of influencer marketing.
Isamaya Ffrench – The London Beauty Alchemist
Seamlessly shifting between beauty and art, Isamaya Ffrench is a self-taught and tech-savvy innovator who is redefining the boundaries of make-up
Janicki Bioenergy – Turning human waste into drinking water
748 million people worldwide lack clean drinking water. Bill Gates drank a glass of water made from human faeces, to showcase technology he said could provide clean water in the developing world. "The water tasted as good as any I've had out of a bottle. And having studied the engineering behind it, I would happily drink it every day. It's that safe," he said.
Jaunt – Immerse yourself in cinematic virtual reality
The idea for Jaunt originated in early 2013 when one of the founders returned from an amazing experience at Zion National Park. What if he could go back there for a brief jaunt, at any time, from any place? The emerging consumer VR industry provides the mechanism to travel to virtual worlds. Jaunt aims to put realism back into the virtual reality experience, lending an uncanny sense of presence never before possible with any other technology.
Juan Valdez Café – From commodity to premium branded experience
Most coffee growers make a few cents or every bag sold to consumers, even less for every cup drunk. Colombia’s farmers decided to create their own branded experience.
Kiva – Loans that change lives
Kiva is an international nonprofit organisation, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
Le Pain Quotidien – Rustic breads, communal tables ... being human in a digital world
Le Pain stands out in a cookie-cutter world of standard formats as authentic and sustainable, human and communal. Whilst the world becomes anglicised, it’s great to see a little French on our streets, albeit Belgian.
Lego – Rebuilding the business with “creative play”
Lego almost died. Under pressure from an avalanche of digital games, the classic toy brand responded by seeking to imitate its challengers, losing sight of what made it special.
Lewis Road Creamery – New Zealand's best ice cream and milkshakes
If you’re going to set out to make the world’s finest dairy from a converted shipping container in the Bay of Plenty, it goes without saying you’re not taking the most conventional route. But conventions have never been something Lewis Road Dairy have been much of a fan of anyway.
Li and Fung – Global supply system for a connected world
Li & Fung is a global supply chain manager for brands and retailers. It was founded in 1906 in Guangzhou by Fung Pak-liu, an English teacher, and Li To-Ming, a local merchant whose family owned a porcelain shop. It started as an export trading company, exporting porcelain, fireworks, jade handicrafts and silk mainly to the USA. In 1937, Fung's son Fung Hon-chu opened the company's first branch office in Hong Kong, where it became based. In 1946 Li sold out to the Fung family.
Lime – The eScooter revolution is here
Lime calls itself a tech mobility company. It aims to provide a sustainable solution to the first and last mile transportation problem by helping people move around their cities in an affordable and convenient way while eliminating their carbon footprint. We are here to empower future generations to change their behavior so we can save this planet together.
Lumio – Jakarta to Kickstarter, Techshop to MoMA
The Lumio lamp is beautiful, stylish, innovative ... practically, it is an LED lighting fixture that folds out of a portable wood hard-bound book and can be placed or hung anywhere.
M-Pesa – Safaricom creates a new currency for Africa
M-Pesa became the mobile currency of Africa, embracing phones to do more than connect people, and improvising for the lack of infrastructure in fast growing markets.
Macquarie Bank – The Australian bank that seeks opportunities that others miss
Macquarie is a diversified financial group providing clients with asset management and finance, banking, advisory and risk and capital solutions across debt, equity and commodities. The diversity of our operations, combined with a strong capital position and robust risk management framework, has contributed to our 49-year record of unbroken profitability.
Magic Leap – "It's like dreaming" ... bringing virtual reality to life
Magic Leap's mind-bending "mixed reality" technology uses photonic wafer chips to manipulate light. It superimposes 3D generated images over real world objects, by projecting a digital light field into the user's eye. Founder Rony Abovitz says "the best way to describe it, is like dreaming." He has attracted $1.4bn funding from Alibaba and Google, and is currently signed up contracts with leading movie studios and game makers.
Mayrig – Cooking up a passion for Armenian culture
Whilst most of Armenia is long gone, the culture lives on through traditional recipes and incredible food that brings people together to share incredible food, and explore the stories that sustained a nation, and now still inspires a global tribe.
Method – Superheroes who make cool products and happy homes
Method is the cleaning products that believe in being doing good whilst also iconic features and beautiful fragrances for your home. With attitude and ambition, they declared war on dirt.
MeUndies – Making undies your butt will be proud to wear
MeUndies is a lifestyle brand that is transforming the way people perceive and purchase their basics. As a vertically integrated, direct-to-consumer company we do it all: from design and manufacturing, to marketing and web design & development, to fulfillment and shipping, MeUndies delivers "The World's Most Comfortable Basics" with a relentless emphasis on quality and service.
Momondo – Content inspiration for your next travel adventure
Momondo was founded in Denmark in 2006 and is headquartered in Copenhagen. As of 2016, the company has more than 200 employees from more than 30 nationalities. When Momondo was first launched in September 2006, it was a flight search engine only. It's inspirational travel blog was launched in 2007. In the same year, the company launched a series of city guides called Momondo places. Momondo is perhaps most famous for its DNA Journey advertising epic that made people rethink about their connectedness in today's world.
Moven – Bank 3.0 that promises to be different
Moven is a digital financial manager designed around the mobile consumer, making banking and life easier, and through a range of easy and fun analytics, embracing games and social media, and even makes you a rockstar!
Narayana Health – Low-cost hospitals with a heart
Narayana operates a dual business model, one funding the other. Whilst knowledge and equipment are not compromised, the growth in medical tourism subsidises low-cost heart surgery for the poor.
Nespresso – The business model with an extra shot
You might credit George Clooney with much of Nespresso’s brand appeal. But the money is in the pods. Whilst the coffee machines are sold at minimal prices, it is the addiction – or subscription – to the refills that drives profits.
Netflix – Changing what and when we watch
Netflix grew out of consumer frustration with the stupid rules of an old model. This provoked one guy into creating a better solution, which has continued to evolve in format and business model as new technologies emerge, and competitors catch up. The next horizon of data-driven content creation is perhaps most intriguing.
NHS School for Change Agents – Creating the boldest and most innovative new ideas in health and care
The Horizons Group is a small team within the UK's National Health Service (NHS) that uses radical thinking to explore change and transformation in health and care. It aims to support colleagues in health and care to think differently about how effective change practice can lead to better outcomes for patients.
Nike – Business designed at the speed of the swoosh
Nike is a design and branding business, with a focus on digital technologies and “amplifying nature.” It is about function and fashion, but most of all about athletes and achievement.
Novo Nordisk – Home of the world's top performing CEO
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. It's innovation is patient-centric, focused on what it can be best at, and delivered by one of the world's most sustainable companies.
nuTonomy – The world's first self-driving taxis
nuTonomy is a leading developer of state-of-the-art software for self-driving vehicles, developed by two MIT researchers, and first launched in Singapore in 2016.
Ofo – China's global bike-sharing platform
Ofo, China’s largest bike-sharing company, now more than 10 million xiao huang che, or “little yellow bikes” around the world with users in 170 cities making 25 million trips a day.
On Running – Swiss running on clouds
From a revolutionary idea a Swiss running shoe has evolved that is still amazing the sporting scene. The On provides a new running sensation, and one that puts fun firmly centre-stage. Born in Switzerland seven years ago, On has become the fastest growing global running brand with offices in Zurich (Switzerland), Portland (USA) and Yokohama (Japan).
One Medical – Healthcare reinvented, any service, when you need it
One Medical Group challenges the notion that delivering high-quality, accessible health care is either unachievable or prohibitively expensive. In fact, we’re working to prove that just the opposite is possible — a system where quality care is affordable and available to everyone. To bring this vision to life, we rely on people-centered design, smart application of technology, and a team of talented primary care providers who have the time and tools to make the right decisions. The integration of these elements allows us to offer a seamless experience that not only saves our patients time and money but also leads to better health outcomes and happier lives.
OneWeb – Global internet access for everyone
Airbus, Bharti, Coca-Cola and Virgin are just some of the investors who have together pledged over $500m to create the world's first global satellite-based internet service. OneWeb is building a network of 700 satellites to take broadband access to every corner of our planet - including cars, aircraft, and homes in the most remote locations.
Organovo – 3D printing of body parts to order
Organavo is embracing the latest technologies to transform surgery, from the 3D bio-printing of muscle tissues to complete organs for transplant, saving lives and raising huge ethical issues too.
Ossian Vides y Vinos – Organic fusions of wines from Segovia
"Ossian is history through the vineyards, it is passion in its grapes, it is life in its soil and it is an illusion in its elaboration process" says Pedro Ruiz Aragoneses
Ouarzazate Solar Power Station – The world's largest solar farm, in the Moroccan desert
OSPS, also called Noor Power Station (نور, Arabic for light) is a solar power complex located in the Drâa-Tafilalet region in Morocco, 10 km from the town of Ouarzazate. The entire Solar Project is planned to produce 580 MW at peak when finished and is being built in three phases.
Total project expected to cost $9 billion, and cover an area of 2,500 hectare. The plant will be able to store solar energy in the form of heated molten salt, allowing for production of electricity into the night. Phase 1 comes with a full-load molten salt storage capacity of 3 hours. The planned Phase 2, due to open in 2017 and 2018 will store energy for up to eight hours.
Padang & Co – Asian innovation catalyst for corporates and government
“Padang” in Malay means “open field”. It is also the name of an important historical landmark in the heart of the civic quarter of Singapore, where Padang & Co is headquartered.
Paris Saint-Germain – A new brand to dream bigger
Paris Saint-Germain, one of Europe’s youngest soccer clubs and the only major team in Paris, has been transformed on and off the pitch in recent years.
Parkrun – The running movement that spread across the world
Parkrun is a beautifully simple concept: turn up every Saturday and run 5km, or if you’re a junior: 2km every Sunday. Over a million people, every week. In Australia, in Russia, in South Africa. Across the world. It doesn’t matter how fast you go. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. What matters is taking part. It's free, simple and for everyone.
Philosophy – The miracle worker ... inspiring people to believe in more
Philosophy is a skincare brand with a message to inspire your life. Rather than functional science, consumers engage in emotional wellbeing, and being part of a community who believe in better.
Planetary Resources – Asteroid mining for precious metals and water
Explorer James Cameron is one of the entrepreneurs behind the asteroid mining company that plans low cost robotic space exploration to find commercial y viable asteroids near Earth. From these, they hope to extract precious metals and water (which can be converted to rocket fuel and oxygen).
Positive Luxury – The butterfly mark of brands you can trust
Curation is a key role for retailer, editing and guiding in a world of infinite choice. Making sustainability positive, being better rather than less bad, being authentic and natural, softer or brighter.
Rakuten Ichiba – Asian shopping ... crabs and kimonos with “omotenashi”
As markets become more fragmented into specialist niches, the economics of local stores gives way to online platforms. With careful focus, small businesses can become global and profitable, without the costs of becoming big.
Rapha – More than clothing, more than a store, more than a sport
Cycling is a sport of connisseurs. They love their coffee, in France they love their pastis, and they love their bikes and gear. Riding in the heart of a Sunday morning pelaton is as much social as physical, and so Rapha designed to create premium cycling gear, and coffee shops – or Cycle Clubs – where enthusiasts can meet.
Raspberry Pi – Build your own computer gadgets for $25
Eben Upton wants to inspire kids about the potential of computing. With an incredibly simple $25 computer, a cool brand a social movement, he is inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Red Bull – Space jumps, air races ... energy drinks and media house
Red Bull changed the game of energy drinks. But it is much more than a drink, it’s a brand that reflects an attitude to life, and can therefore do more. In fact it has become a media company, with some of the world’s most extreme physical events, amplified as digital content. Not as a promotion for its drinks, but as the core business, with drinks on the side.
Renova – The sexiest toilet paper in the world
Renova is on mission to brighten up your life. Why is toilet paper white? The Portugeuse brand a hit in Hollywood bathrooms with its black paper. Colour is a bold, but simple way to change the game.
RewardStyle – Helping social influencers make money
In the last five years, rewardStyle has fueled the arrival of a new influence on the retail industry: professional content creators. By providing the technical tools and education necessary to empower a global army of 9,000 premium content creators, it is now making a tangible impact on global e-commerce sales. In 2015, their publishers drove over $475 million in retail sales. It has redirected the style publishing industry and contributed to the professionalization and financial independence of thousands of publishers worldwide, enabling them to earn meaningful revenue on their digital content, ultimately empowering them to create and grow small businesses into international brands. Today, it is a global business. Nearly 200 team members work from offices in Dallas, San Francisco, New York, Shanghai and London.
Riot Games – League of Legends is reinventing the world of gaming, and the world of sport.
In a world where real sports are challenged by online gaming, attention spans fall from a 2 hour movie to a 10 second snapchat, lying in your bedroom but still seeking the thrill of the partisan crowd ... Riot Games is the answer to your millennial prayers. Each game demands 30 to 60 minutes of players' undivided attention. The average player spends 30 hours a month on the game ... that's three billion player-hours each month
Robinhood – Removing all the barriers to stock trading
Robinhood is the worlds most innovative financial services company ... with a mission to democratise access to the financial markets, with a simple smartphone app.
Room to Read – Getting millions to learn: taking a local approach to teaching and learning literacy skills
Room to Read is an inspiring not-for-profit organisation, seeking to build literacy and gender equality, particularly in Africa and Asia. The program employs local authors to write children’s books in the mother tongue.
Samsung – South Korea puts the tae kuk into the Galaxy
Samsung has always focused on innovation, however it was only by embracing the power of design, that they were able to engage people in objects of desire, rather than products quickly imitated.
Slack – The creative home of our working lives
Slack's mission is to make your working life simpler, more pleasant and more productive. It is the fastest growing B2B application ever and is used by 2 million daily active users.
Snap – Share life with friends, fast and fun
Snap a photo or a video, add a caption, and send it to a friend (or maybe a few). They'll view it, laugh, and then the snap disappears from the screen - unless your friend takes a screenshot!
SoFi – Digital finance for millennials, with a focus on student loans
Armed with a fresh $500 million infusion, SoFi is trying to shake up the world of finance by finding time to mix career coaching and even dating events in with your mortgage payments.
Sonae – Portugal's leading retailer focuses on "improving life"
A stock market flotation was the catalyst for Sonae to diversify its business into many new categories. Innovation lies at the heart of Sonae's vision for improving life. Most important platform for this is Sonae's Continente retail brand which has recently extended across Europe, and also take its own-label brands into other retailers in order to go further faster.
Spotify – The freemium business model for music
Spotify grew out of deviant behaviour – imitating the actions of illegal downloaders to find a legal business model which combines free access with the ability to also make money as a business, and for artists and publishers. The brand is contagious, driven by consumer collaboration, and staying topical.
Square – Making payments easy, anywhere anytime
Square’s insight came from the millions of small businesses who lose sales because they cannot accept credit cards. Empowering first the retailer, and the consumer, Square had to fight to change the rules of the market.
StoreDot – Full batteries in 30 seconds
StoreDot’s ‘FlashBattery’ system seeks to revolutionise how quickly people can charge their electronic devices. The system relies on an entirely new Lithium ion battery structure, which uses innovative compounds synthesised in its labs to dramatically reduce charging time.
Supr Daily – Digitalised milk delivery in Mumbai
68% of milk in India is adulterated with water, detergent powder or worse products. Supr "direct to home connect" removes all middle men involved thereby ensuring that the milk your family drinks is not tampered. Milk, bread, eggs, curd, paneer, coconut water, dosa batter, buttermilk and many more daily needs. Many customers plan their entire week the the online schedule, easily setting all your daily needs on auto pilot.
Supreme – The world's coolest streetwear brand
Supreme is a skateboarding shop turned clothing brand, created by James Jebbia as a small company in downtown Manhattan and quickly became a designers dreams. Thanks to collaborations with top brands as diverse as Louis Vuitton, Nike, and Kermit the Frog, Supreme is the brand people want to be wearing.
Even celebrities like Cara Delevingne and DJ Khaled are fans. Consumers will spend crazy sums to get their hands on limited edition collaborations like the Supreme Louis Vuitton Bag (which resells on eBay for $4,000 - $15,000), and always post a picture of it on Instagram (the brand has 6 million followers).
Surf Air – The "Netflix of the skies" takes off in Europe
There’s a smarter, better way to fly in Europe. Since 2013 Surf Air has delivered all-you-can-fly subscription air travel between key cities in California, and now its taking off in Europe, with the same revolutionary unlimited travel business model.
Syngenta – Biochemists of the world’s future food
As populations rise, and farmland diminishes, Syngenta is applying science to every aspect of food production, finding better ways to feed the changing world and also improve health.
Tatcha – Beauty inspired by the Japanese Geisha
Vicky Tsai was sitting at her Merrill Lynch analyst desk watching 9/11 as it happened. It made her realise that there must be a better world. She started to explore the world, culture, and spirituality. She was taken by Asian culture, and in particularly the secrets of the Japanese geisha. Tatcha was born to share the geisha's wisdom with modern women everywhere, and to further the belief that true beauty begins with the heart and the mind.
Tchibo – A new experience every week
Germany's favourite coffee brand, has spread its retail concept across the world, offering everything from flowers to mobile phones, with a constantly changing range. Pop in for a coffee, and to see what's new!
Tencent – WeChat to QQ, Tencent is taking over the world
Tencent has become one of China's four technology giants, founded by Pony Ma in November 1998. It’s overtaken Facebook, bought stakes in Snapchat, Tesla and Hollywood films, and has quietly risen to rival Google and Netflix.
Tesla – Faster than a Ferrari, powered by the sun
Tesla is the fastest, sexiest, most-hyped car of its generation. It can drive 1000 km on a solar powered battery, with zero carbon emissions, whilst also becoming the must-have luxury accessory in Hollywood.
The East India Company – Recreating the exotic luxuries of empire
The East India Company was the world's first multinational company, dominating world trade for centuries. It made a wide range of elusive, exclusive and exotic ingredients familiar, affordable and available to the world; ingredients which today form part of our daily and national cuisines. Today it continues to develop and market unique and innovative products that breathe life into the history of the brand.
Threadless – The crowdsourced t-shirt community
Threadless was one of the first crowdsourced brands, recognising the power and passion of user-generated designs. Voting and limited availability keeps people coming back to the site, from which a vibrant community has developed, engaging people physically and online.
Toms – A pair for kids with every pair you buy
Toms is a brand with purpose, and a dual business model – inspired by the simple canvas shoes of Argentina – it gives away a free pair away to street kids for every pair it sells. “One to One” has become a worldwide movement, and now stretches beyond shoes.
TransferWise – Money without borders
TransferWise was born of frustration. Sending money abroad is deceptively expensive, thanks to the hidden charges we’ve all been forced to pay. The banks claim “free money transfers”, “0% commission.” Sounds like money’s already flowing freely, but far from it. It’s pure propaganda. TransferWise says it "removes all the wrongness", letting people send money abroad at the lowest possible true cost. Using only real exchange rates and tiny not-hidden-fees. Headaches averted, and a revolution sparked.
Triangl – Melbourne to Millennials, all thanks to Instagram
Vibrant, color-saturated bikinis are popping up on beaches everywhere this summer. The perpetrator: a budding swimsuit company with Australian roots called Triangl.
Uber – Creating disruption on the streets of the world's big cities
Uber is changing the way the world moves, connecting riders to drivers through its technology platform. The potential to "uberfy" almost any type of business is obvious.
Umpqua Bank – Fall in love with "the world's greatest bank"
Umpqua reimagined the banking experience around customers, inspired by parallels such as Gap and Starbucks. A passionate focus on people and service has created a digitally-enabled physical experience like no other.
Under Armour – Outperforming Nike at the Rio Olympics
It started with a simple plan to make a superior T-shirt. A shirt that provided compression and wicked perspiration off your skin rather than absorb it. A shirt that worked with your body to regulate temperature and enhance performance.
Vice Media – Media for millennials
Vice was launched in 1994 as a "punk zine" and has since expanded into a leading global youth media company with bureaus in over 30 countries. It includes the world’s premier original online video destination, a network of digital channels, a television production studio, a magazine, a record label, an in-house creative agency, a consumer insights team, and a book-publishing division.
Vinaya – The millennial entrepreneur who thinks human first, tech second
Kate Unsworth's favourite words are banana and martini. She is a maths grad and part-time model, who has embraced a millennial mindset for business, and also a love of technologies that are thoughtful, human and fashionable.
Vinomofo – Australian wine lovers community
Vinomofo is all about good wine, real people, and the most epic wine deals on the planet. Founded by André Eikmeier and Justin Dry in 2011 from an Adelaide garage, the business sources and sells wines that they drink and they think members will love too. “We represent a revolution against the bowties and bullshit of the wine snobs and posers who think wine is for the chosen few elite and educated. It’s not. We think everybody should be able to enjoy good wine, without feeling intimidated”
Virgin Galactic – Astronauts all, but the goal is long-haul
The space race is on, to provide regular affordable flights for business, research and tourism. And whilst the development has not been without problems, Virgin’s vision, determination and spacecraft design, promises to go where others haven't, or at least from London to Sydney in one hour.
Warby Parker – Designer eyewear at revolutionary price
"Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip. The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining. (We don’t recommend this.) The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?"
WeWork – The workspace that helps you create a better life
In May 2008, Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey established GreenDesk, an "eco-friendly coworking space" in New York City. In 2010, Neumann and McKelvey sold the business and started WeWork with its first location in New York’s SoHo district. WeWork provides shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses. WeWork designs and builds physical and virtual communities in which entrepreneurs share space and office services and have the opportunity to work together. The company’s 30,000+ members have access to health insurance, an internal social network, social events and workshops, and an annual summer retreat.
Xiaomi – China’s Apple-like phones with Jobs-like leader
Xiaomi saw its smartphone sales sink in 2016 due in part to its ramped-up competition with Huawei and BBK. But the company has seen remarkable international growth
It sold 2 million devices in India in fall 2016—and hopes its sleek new Mi Mix and Mi Note 2 smartphones will reignite sales in China. Xiaomi is also working to upend the narrow perception of its brand: The company’s wide-ranging hardware offerings include everything from headphones and fitness bands to tablets and power strips and water purifiers. In 2016 alone, it introduced its first laptop, a set-top box, a robot vacuum, a smart rice cooker, a $29 VR headset, a quadcopter drone, and its MiJia electric scooter, among a slew of other ventures.
Xiaomi aims to become an internet of things powerhouse through its investments, so far, in 77 companies, which can tap into Xiaomi’s resources, supply chain, and growing retail presence online and off (Xiaomi opened three-dozen brick-and-mortar stores this year, with hundreds more in the pipeline) to scale up faster. The company believe this portfolio approach—which doesn’t involve hiring engineers to build all these products—will create an ecosystem of devices and services with recurring revenue streams.
Zespri – Redefining the Chinese gooseberry as the Kiwi fruit
Kiwi fruit are a great example of market creation. Zespri, owned by New Zealand growers, shows how to build premium brands that increase the market size, whilst also capturing disproportionate value, and what might otherwise be a commodity market.
Zhong An – China's first online insurance brand, with a quirky approach to selling
Ping An, Tencent and Alibaba joined forces in 2013 to launch Zhong An, China’s first truly digital insurer. Zhong An is China’s first property insurance company that sells all its products online along with handling claims.
Zidisha – Peer to peer microfinance in developing markets
Zidisha is a non-profit organisation that matches African entrepreneurs with peer to peer loans from around the world, keeping interest rates low by cutting out intermediaries and using simple technology.
Zipcar – Why own a car when you can hire a cooler one?
Collaborative consumption drives the better use of assets, and often a better deal for customers. Better products at a fraction of the price. The subscription model builds community and loyalty.
Zozo – Japan's custom-fit clothes
Say goodbye to standard sizes and hello to custom-fit clothes. The free ZOZOSUIT lets you capture a 3D measurement of your unique body from home. Once you’ve measured, you can order affordable ZOZO clothing that is made according to your unique measurements and delivered directly to your door.
Zuvaa – The global marketplace for African-inspired fashion
Zuvaa launched in 2014 as an online destination of African Inspired fashion and accessories.Kelechi Anyadiegwu started the fashion business to fill a void which she saw in the African Fashion Industry, a place for affordable, ethically made, African-inspired pieces.