Among start-ups to watch in 2017 are these trailblazers, a select group that nearly made CNBC's inaugural Upstart 25 list of the most promising young start-ups. These forward thinkers are building brands and breaking industry barriers on the path to becoming tomorrow's household names. To be eligible, companies had to be privately held and no more than five years old. They also had to have a funding cap of $50 million.
We received more than 500 submissions for the list, which required us to cut more than 95 percent of innovative young companies poised for success. These five caught our attention because of their creative ideas and the lucrative niches they are targeting for growth.