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15 companies that will change the world

These game-changing startups are likely to upend existing industries - and spawn new entrepreneurial opportunities.

Cree
Light-emitting diodes manufactured by Cree are more energy-efficient.
Cree
Sure, compact fluorescent lightbulbs are energy savers, but they also contain mercury. Cree is the leading maker of light-emitting diodes, which are less hazardous and even more energy-efficient. Toronto and Raleigh, N.C., are already installing Cree LEDs in streetlamps and parking garages.

Blinkx

Raydiance

Expensr

Zipcar

MFG.com

Virgin Charter

PatientsLikeMe

Bloom Energy

Vanu

Zink

A123 Systems

Renewable Energy Group

Desktop Factory

Cree

One laptop per child
The New Disruptors video series Editor-at-Large Erick Schonfeld discovers startups with the potential to overturn existing industries or open up entirely new markets. (more)
Tomorrow's light With companies developing innovative ways to fight global warming, Cree founder John Edmond describes how LED lights are poised to change the way we see things. (more) video