The search is under way to find companies making a profound impact on industry and society. CNBC is now accepting nominations for the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50, our annual list of private companies changing the world.
The deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday, Feb. 21, at 3 pm Eastern time. All independent, privately-owned companies founded after Jan. 1, 2005, are eligible, and any company founder or executive, investor in the company, or any of their communications representatives are welcome to submit the nomination form.
In 2019 more than 1,200 companies from around the world and across every sector of the economy — from agriculture to retail and transportation — submitted applications. The 50 companies that made the final cut stood out for the ways they developed revolutionary new technology into lucrative business models to create the next generation of great public companies.
Last year was a wild year for venture-backed start-ups, and Disruptor 50 companies past and present were in the middle of it all. Two of the 2019 Disruptors — exercise equipment maker Peloton and fertility company Progyny — are now public, and a third, mattress company Casper, filed for its IPO earlier this month.
But the Disruptor 50 IPO that wasn't, The We Company (better known as WeWork), may end up having the biggest impact on the 2020 list. Last year, when The We Company landed at No.3 on the list, it was well on its way to joining Uber, Lyft, Pinterest and other past Disruptors on the public markets. When public investors balked at the company's $47 billion private valuation, everything changed. Now large institutions may value the company at less than $25 billion if an IPO proceeds.
The fallout from the failed We Company IPO has rocked the start-up world. It has investors questioning the eye-popping valuations of other high-profile start-ups and has VCs taking a closer look at their early-stage investment strategy. It also has founders reconsidering the timing and viability of their own public debuts. Talk about disruptive.
As always, nominees for the 2020 Disruptor 50 will be put through a comprehensive and rigorous process of researching and scoring across a wide range of quantitative and qualitative criteria, including scalability, revenue and user growth and workforce diversity. An advisory board made up of leading thinkers in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship will provide weighting for the quantitative criteria, while a team of more than 50 CNBC editorial staff will read submissions and provide qualitative assessments of every single nominee.
Winners will be notified in April, and the list will be released in May across CNBC's TV and digital platforms. Again, eligible companies can submit their nominations for the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 by clicking here.
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