Inspired by Innovation: Fast Company Releases its 2015 “Most Innovative Companies” List

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We find inspiration everywhere we turn, but each year, we eagerly await the release of one of the most interesting sources: Fast Company’s 50 “Most Innovative Companies.”

This year’s list runs the gamut from companies revolutionizing Internet shopping to developers of lifesaving drugs to bold new models of social innovation. 

As always, technology-driven disruption represents a key theme. Online eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker ranked at number one on the list “for building the first great made-on-the-internet brand.” Apple came in at number two for, well, being Apple. Led by serial entrepreneur Stewart Butterfield, Slack was recognized for its new interoffice communication platform and Panera made the list for its use of technology, Panera 2.0, to improve every aspect of its operations – all the way down to food prep and ordering.

Our mission to embrace social innovation, technology and creativity directed our attention to a few notables: InVenture, Gilead Sciences and Revolution Foods.  Here’s why:

  • InVenture’s focus on community banking helps those in emerging economies earn credit while also offering tools for monitoring their finances. Our work with Opportunity Finance Network, Capital Impact Partners and Chicago Community Loan Fund showed us how the organization aids in providing financial stability and information for those in low-income, disadvantaged areas and aligning capital with social justice. (You can learn more about our adventures in branding in the CDFI industry in our recent eBook.)
  • Gilead Sciences appeals to our interest in healthcare and life sciences, and the company’s entrepreneurial approach to pharmaceutical development stands out. Gilead Sciences seeks to develop treatments faster than ever for life-threatening diseases for people with “unmet medical needs.” The company successfully developed four groundbreaking treatments for HIV and its breakthrough treatment for hepatitis C, Solvaldi, boasts a 90% cure rate. 
  • As for Revolution Foods, well… we all can appreciate better school lunches (the good ol’ days!), but this company goes the extra mile to provide free or reduced-price wholesome meals to schools which may not normally offer such quality due to costs. The company’s chefs even present their recipes to kids to evaluate their taste while satisfying parents’ wishes to eliminate artificial colors, flavors and preservatives – even in its new boxed meals which can reach children outside of school.

Clearly, this list gets us thinking, and we hope it lights a fire for you, as well.  Take a look and let us know which ideas excite and interest you the most – the more inspiration, the better!