Taking on Corporate Giants: CNBC's Disruptors

From hundreds of companies nominated by venture capitalists, industry analysts, and beat reporters, CNBC has created the ultimate list of 50 innovators disrupting the marketplace and poised for hypergrowth.

Industries of Disruption:
Telecom | Travel & Leisure | Transportation | Retail | Media | Energy | Manufacturing | Enterprise/Security | Financial Services | Healthcare

Castlight shares soar 139% Fri, 14 Mar '14 | 12:28 PM ET

Castlight Health is coming to market with a valuation of more than $1 billion, pricing its IPO above range.

Quiet, CIA-backed data firm shuns IPO Wed, 12 Mar '14 | 1:07 PM ET
Alex Karp

A semi-secretive, but widely watched data analytics firm partially backed by the CIA has decided against going public, for now.

Spotify job post adds to IPO speculation Tue, 18 Feb '14 | 9:53 AM ET

A Spotify job posting adds to speculation that the Swedish start-up is preparing for a share listing.

Google to buy Nest for $3.2 billion Mon, 13 Jan '14 | 4:05 PM ET
Thermostat by Nest Labs tracks your heating patterns and logs them into it's memory to adjust automatically.

Google Ventures has been a major investor in Nest, which builds a smart thermostat and smoke detector.

Austin residents cash in on SXSW Tue, 4 Mar '14 | 11:56 AM ET
Airbnb's webpage for SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Homeowners are cashing in on the huge demand for hotel rooms during SXSW by renting out their homes for a premium.

Zuckerberg says WhatsApp worth over $19B Mon, 24 Feb '14 | 3:25 PM ET
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook

In the keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mark Zuckerberg also signaled he's likely done with deals for a bit.

Dropbox raises $350M in funding round Mon, 24 Feb '14 | 5:26 PM ET

The company raised $325 million from its investors and has the option to add $125 million, according to a filing.

3-D printed school cafeteria pizza Sun, 17 Nov '13 | 7:00 AM ET
Bre Pettis

Don't trust teenagers with your car? Consider this: Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis's bold new ambition is a 3-D printer for every classroom in America.

Twitter may price above $23-25 range: Sources Wed, 6 Nov '13 | 12:09 PM ET
The Twitter Inc. logo is displayed on the company's preliminary prospectus.

Twitter's underwriters plan to price its stock above estimates at $27 per share if the market momentum from today continues, sources tell CNBC.

Education Disruptors

Coursera Thu, 31 Oct '13 | 12:53 PM ET

Education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take.

edX Thu, 31 Oct '13 | 12:53 PM ET

Not-for-profit online education enterprise founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; includes consortium of 29 institutions.

2U Thu, 31 Oct '13 | 12:53 PM ET

2U develops technology platforms that give universities the ability to deliver offline curricula in an online learning environment.

Udacity Thu, 31 Oct '13 | 12:53 PM ET

Online higher education company founded by AI professors and offering classes that anyone can take, anytime.

Knewton Thu, 31 Oct '13 | 12:53 PM ET

Adaptive learning company that enables personalized education at mass scale through institutions and publishers.

Energy Disruptors

Shale Boomers Vs. Tree Huggers Fri, 17 May '13 | 5:55 PM ET

In a battle between wildcatters in the shale boom and renewable energy dreamers, five companies may wield unique power.

LightSail Energy Sat, 18 May '13 | 11:45 AM ET

Energy storage technology using compressed air to create heat energy, which can be stored and released onto the grid.

MicroSeismic Fri, 17 May '13 | 5:44 PM ET

An oil service company that is the largest provider of fracture monitoring services in the world.

Nest Labs Sat, 18 May '13 | 11:49 AM ET

A programmable thermostat aiming to make a smarter residential energy consumer.

Opower Sat, 18 May '13 | 11:51 AM ET

Opower is an energy efficiency software company that allows utilities to make customers smarter about usage.

Picarro Sat, 18 May '13 | 11:53 AM ET

Information age provider to public and private sector players engaged in energy, climate policy and fracking debate.

Telecom Disruptors

Busting Telecom's Monopoly With Apps Thu, 23 May '13 | 12:11 PM ET

Disruptors are dialing up the pressure in telecom, overcoming the high barriers to entry in a costly market.

Boku Fri, 17 May '13 | 7:59 AM ET

A mobile billing system charging purchases directly to mobile phone numbers.

Kymeta Fri, 17 May '13 | 7:58 AM ET

A scalable satellite solution for continuous, high-quality broadband access anywhere in the world—air, land and sea.

LiveU Fri, 17 May '13 | 7:56 AM ET

Broadcast quality video over cellular technology for live transmission in SD and HD globally.

Twilio Fri, 17 May '13 | 7:57 AM ET

A cloud-based platform that allows businesses lacking physical telecom infrastructure to create scalable communications.

WhatsApp Fri, 17 May '13 | 7:55 AM ET

An unlimited text, audio and video messaging app that works with any existing mobile plan.

Travel Disruptors

Summertime Fun in a Virtual Era Fri, 24 May '13 | 12:04 PM ET

The way people travel, where they stay, and what they eat, are being transformed by mobile.

Airbnb Fri, 17 May '13 | 9:36 AM ET

Community-based travel marketplace connecting travelers and small lodging businesses in 34,000 cities and 192 countries.

Foursquare Fri, 17 May '13 | 9:34 AM ET

The social, location-based app is aiming to turn a community into a revenue-generating ad and search business.

Kabam Thu, 16 May '13 | 5:58 PM ET

Migrating traditional console games to mobile devices. Games are offered free of charge (paid premium content model).

HotelTonight Fri, 17 May '13 | 9:37 AM ET

The first lodging app is made exclusively for mobile and for last-minute hotel deals.

OUYA Fri, 17 May '13 | 9:44 AM ET

A collaborative video game platform that is aiming to break the last “closed” platform in the gaming market: television.

Healthcare Disruptors

Health Care Fat, Silicon Valley Surgery Fri, 17 May '13 | 6:02 PM ET

Health care has been a bad investment for Americans. Silicon Valley-backed startups intend to change that situation.

23andMe Thu, 16 May '13 | 4:19 PM ET

Low-cost DNA analysis service for individuals.

Audax Health Wed, 15 May '13 | 5:00 PM ET

Self-engagement technology for individuals aimed at bringing down health-care costs and providing better care.

Castlight Health Thu, 16 May '13 | 4:20 PM ET

Health care transparency technology for employers, offering pricing and quality information to drive purchase decisions.

Ginger.io Thu, 16 May '13 | 4:21 PM ET

Technology that can model individual health patterns and behavior by collecting data through a simple mobile phone app.

ZocDoc Thu, 16 May '13 | 4:23 PM ET

Free smartphone-based service that lets patients research doctors and dentists, and to book appointments.

Transportation Disruptors

Silicon Valley Chases Road Rage Riches Fri, 17 May '13 | 9:30 AM ET

CNBC Transportation Disruptors are attacking the unsustainable transportation system.

Getaround Wed, 15 May '13 | 5:33 PM ET

Solving the problem of car overpopulation and the unsustainable transportation system.

INRIX Wed, 15 May '13 | 5:34 PM ET

The big data company for traffic information.

SpaceX Wed, 15 May '13 | 5:33 PM ET

Designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft.

Uber Wed, 15 May '13 | 5:34 PM ET

A smartphone and Web-based, on-demand professional car service ordering system.

Waze Wed, 15 May '13 | 5:35 PM ET

World's fastest-growing, community-based traffic and navigation app.

Financial Services Disruptors

Facebook Money Wall Street Doesn't Want Thu, 16 May '13 | 2:11 PM ET

The financial services landscape has been long dominated by lazy incumbents lacking incentive to change. No longer.

CircleUp Wed, 15 May '13 | 8:24 AM ET

A crowdsourced funding platform for consumer businesses, an alternative to the traditional financing model.

Kickstarter Wed, 15 May '13 | 8:24 AM ET

A new way to fund creative projects, from films, games and music to art, design and technology.

Lending Club Wed, 15 May '13 | 8:24 AM ET

A platform for lenders and borrowers competing with traditional loan services and investments.

Square Wed, 15 May '13 | 8:25 AM ET

Mobile payments technology provider and transactions leader.

Wealthfront Wed, 15 May '13 | 8:25 AM ET

Software-based investment management.

Enterprise/Security Disruptors

In the Cloud, Tech's Next Big Companies Wed, 15 May '13 | 7:10 PM ET

Tech upstarts can challenge the biggest companies, thanks to the cloud.

Atlassian Tue, 14 May '13 | 6:13 PM ET

Software for software developers. Early adopter of software as a service (SaaS).

Bromium Wed, 15 May '13 | 4:00 PM ET

A computer security technology firm using a patented micro-virtualization (isolation as opposed to blocking) approach.

Box Tue, 14 May '13 | 4:20 PM ET

Provides secure cloud content management and collaboration.

Dropbox Wed, 15 May '13 | 3:53 PM ET

A free cloud storage service that lets you bring your photos, documents and videos anywhere and share them easily.

Palantir Technologies Wed, 15 May '13 | 3:45 PM ET

The integration and analysis of large quantities of data.

Manufacturing Disruptors

Pandora's Printer: 3-Disrupting Wed, 15 May '13 | 11:20 AM ET

The disruptions to the traditional manufacturing model have opened up a Pandora's box of possibility.

3D Robotics Tue, 14 May '13 | 8:42 AM ET

Open-source drone technology design, engineering and manufacturing company

MakerBot Tue, 14 May '13 | 8:42 AM ET

A manufacturer of desktop 3-D printers.

Quirky Tue, 14 May '13 | 8:42 AM ET

A collaborative platform for every aspect of product development—from original idea to manufacturing and marketing.

Rethink Robotics Tue, 14 May '13 | 8:42 AM ET

Creator of low-cost robotics solutions for the manufacturing sector

Shapeways Tue, 14 May '13 | 8:42 AM ET

Pioneering on-demand 3D printing marketplace and community to make, buy, and sell custom and personalized products.

Media Disruptors

Angry Babies, Tiny Antennas Buzz Media Tue, 14 May '13 | 12:36 PM ET

No incumbent in the media industry is safe from disruptors aiming to upend the established order.

Aereo Tue, 14 May '13 | 12:21 PM ET

Aereo is pushing the envelope with the distribution of television content on the internet.

BuzzFeed Tue, 14 May '13 | 12:14 PM ET

An online news organization mixing original reporting across a wide variety of subject verticals, and native advertising.

Spotify Tue, 14 May '13 | 12:15 PM ET

A music service that is helping to change the way listeners think about the concept of a personal music collection.

Tumblr Tue, 14 May '13 | 9:36 AM ET

Behind the biggest conceptual change in the evolution of blogging.

Twitter Tue, 14 May '13 | 12:13 PM ET

Real-time communications platform that invented the tweet, poised to reach $1 billion in advertising revenue in 2014.

Retail Disruptors

The New Billion Dollar Retail Democracy Mon, 13 May '13 | 3:08 PM ET

How will you shop in the future? CNBC spotlights those who see room to innovate the retail business.

Etsy Mon, 13 May '13 | 9:07 AM ET

Etsy is a platform for independent, creative businesses to sell their goods.

Pinterest Tue, 14 May '13 | 12:37 PM ET

Social networking site to collect photos and link to products, create pinboards and follow the pinboards of others.

Rent the Runway Mon, 13 May '13 | 9:19 AM ET

Rent the Runway is the premier online destination for dress and accessory rentals.

Shopify Mon, 13 May '13 | 9:09 AM ET

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to create online stores.

Warby Parker Mon, 13 May '13 | 9:08 AM ET

Warby Parker is disrupting the overpriced eyewear market where a few large companies reap huge profits.


Google Goes After X-Rated Glass App Tue, 4 Jun '13 | 8:05 AM ET
Google Glass T&G

Google Glass officially got its first porn app, but the thrill may not last for long if Google has its way.

NY's 11 Largest Venture-Backed Exits Tue, 21 May '13 | 3:55 PM ET

Here's a look at the 11-biggest venture-backed exits of New York companies and the notable VCs who backed them.

When 'Inferior' Firms Are the Best Tue, 21 May '13 | 7:08 AM ET

"Inferior" companies in "inefficient" markets, such as consumer products start-ups, are often the best market disruptors.

Bill Gates: We'll Wipe Out Spam     Thu, 9 May '13 | 2:00 PM ET
Bill Gates

Even the most successful disruptors who shake up their industry don't always get it 100% right. Find out the surprising thing Microsoft founder Bill Gates said about spam -- and his desire to rid the world of it.

Steve Jobs

Even the most successful disruptors who shake up their industry don't always get it 100% right. Find out the surprising thing the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, said about the music subscription model.

Charlie Chaplin: Movies won't make it     Thu, 9 May '13 | 2:00 PM ET

Even the most successful disruptors who shake up their industry don't always get it 100% right. Find out the surprising thing legendary silent film actor Charlie Chaplin said about the movies -- the medium that helped make him famous.

Disruptors Can Delay the Apple Way Mon, 22 Apr '13 | 12:59 PM ET

A successful disruptor often wins by playing the waiting game, like Apple with the iPod.

What Dooms Innovation to the Graveyard? Mon, 22 Apr '13 | 11:39 AM ET

It's one thing to promise disruption and another thing to deliver on that promise.

The Wearable Revolution Mon, 22 Apr '13 | 12:45 PM ET

Wearable technology needs to better integrate information into our lives to become a trend-setter.

Recipe for Disruption: Lazy Incumbents Mon, 22 Apr '13 | 12:02 PM ET

If you want to disrupt a market, a fat-cat target is best.

Why Netflix, IBM Diverge on Disruption Mon, 22 Apr '13 | 12:02 PM ET

All disruptions can be defined as innovations, but not all innovations are disruptive. Consider Netflix and IBM.

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