The world's most disruptive businesses

3D printed head
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

22 September 2016

A list of the world's top 100 'disruptive' businesses has been announced, and European companies dominate the list.

Judges from brands such as KPMG, Astra Zeneca and IBM considered over a million global start-ups, scoring them on specific criteria in order to measure their potential for affecting the existing market.

44% of businesses featured in the Tällt Ventures ‘Disrupt 100’ list are based in Europe.

The top 10 most disruptive businsses

BusinessSectorCountry
Spiber Manufacturing Japan
Impossible FoodsFoodUS
WindwardDataIsrael
FairflyTransportIsrael 
UbeamEnergyUS
Illusive NetworksCrimeIsrael
HumavoxEnergyIsrael
What3wordsTransportUK
BelongRecruitmentIndia
TradiioEntertainmentPortugal

Source: Tällt Ventures ‘Disrupt 100’

However, it is Japan that secured pole position, with manufacturing company Spiber fending off rivals to be voted the most disruptive business for their work producing artificial spider's thread.

Although the concept may sound like it has leapt from the pages of a comic book, the synthetic material has many potential applications. The elastic material is stronger than steel and has been used by outdoor apparel company The North Face and a Toyota automotive parts supplier.

Matt Connolly, Managing Director of Disrupt 100, said: “Entire industries are being disrupted by new, often well-funded start-ups that are able to quickly scale and displace long-established companies.”


What makes a company disruptive?

Disruption. It’s likely you have heard this word being used in relation to new business and technology. But what does it mean exactly?

A disruptive company is able to insert itself into an already established market, posing a viable threat to incumbent companies who have occupied a market for some time.

The disruptor would usually have limited of resources, both in financial and staffing terms, when compared with the incumbents. However, alternative means of securing funding, such as crowd sourcing, means that emerging disruptors are becoming ever more sophisticated as a result of rising financial backing.

Disruptive companies are typically start-ups, and therefore don’t have an existing client base they need to pander to. This means they can focus their time and creativity on providing a streamline solution to one specific problem. The disruption occurs when users of the incumbent’s services begin to migrate en-masse to the new challenger.


Healthcare leading disruption

Health tech businesses made up 27% of the list, making healthcare the largest sector for disruption.

The UK supplied the highest placing healthcare disruptor on the list, with surgical simulator Touch Surgery reaching number 11. The Touch Surgery app provides users with comprehensive descriptions of complex surgical techniques. The business is currently investigating how recent advancements in virtual reality technology can be applied to the app.

Israel: The disruption juggernaut

Nearly 10% of businesses featured on the list are from Israel. This is no mean feat for a country with a population three times smaller than the state of California, the home of Silicon Valley.

At number four on the list, Fairfly is the highest placing Israeli business. The Fairfly app monitors the fluctuation in price of plane tickets. If the price drops below that which the user originally paid, the app will send a notification informing them and connecting them directly with a re-booking agent.

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