15 companies that will change the world

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

Vanu
Vanu Bose wants to break down communications barriers.
Vanu
CEO: Vanu Bose
Disruption: Software that allows mobile networks to accommodate devices with different standards
Disrupted: Wireless network providers and equipment makers

As any frustrated U.S. cell phone switcher knows, one carrier's phones often won't work on another carrier's network. That's because some use different wireless standards - the two dominant ones are GSM and CDMA. Vanu Bose, son of the audio equipment inventor, is selling equipment that could change all that. Vanu's software-defined radio uses Linux servers to help tear down the communication barriers.

Wireless Web's future

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
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