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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.

Ben Heywood helps patients help themselves by connecting them to each other.
CEO: Ben Heywood (President)
Disruption: An online community where patients discuss and track medical conditions
Disrupted: The health-care industry, medical research

There's plenty of basic data about diseases on the Internet, but there are few central repositories for firsthand accounts about what living with those diseases was like. PatientsLikeMe consolidates such personal accounts and helps patients track their progress. The deep and engaged community has only a few thousand members, but is already a boon to medical researchers; access to such communities of patients is a fast bypass around restrictive privacy rules.






Virgin Charter


Bloom Energy



A123 Systems

Renewable Energy Group

Desktop Factory


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