Innovation — we all strive for it. Some even achieve it. The aim nowadays is towards sustainability, improving working processes, and harnessing Big Data. Below are 25 of the most innovative companies making waves today.
- Stripe Climate
Stripe Climate tackles the ongoing issue of climate change head-on by allowing customers of its online payments company, Stripe, to join its strategy to fund ambitious carbon-removal technology by contributing a percentage of their digital sales that flow through Stripe’s software.
Solugen has developed a process of turning corn syrup into industrial chemicals, using enzymes and metal catalysis. The company’s Houston bioforge creates none of the emissions of petrochemical processes and has yields of up to 90 per cent.
This start-up has created a carbon transformation process that enables newly created chemicals to be used as a one-for-one replacement, thereby lowering the carbon footprint of Twelve’s customers without affecting product performance.
BlocPower addresses the consumption of fossil fuels by residential buildings by removing boilers, furnaces, stoves, and other oil and gas-based products. The start-up is providing electricity to buildings — especially in low- and middle-income communities — by installing technologies such as heat pumps.
- Climate Trace
A coalition of organizations formed in 2020, Climate Trace — with access to 59 trillion bytes of data from more than 300 satellites and 11,000 sensors — updates and maintains greenhouse gas emissions estimates in order to give countries the insights they need to direct climate mitigation efforts more productively.
Watershed uses software to help companies such as Airbnb, DoorDash, Shopify, Sweetgreen and Warby Parker to assess their CO2 emissions, develop a reduction strategy, and connect to carbon-removal solutions. By the end of Watershed’s first year, it helped customers manage emissions equivalent to more than four times the carbon footprint of San Francisco.
Once its users complete a detailed survey, Doconomy is able to estimate an individual’s annual emissions in categories such as transport, home, shopping, and diet. As well as their Lifestyle Calculator, Doconomy has created a 2030 Calculator that simplifies the process of calculating the carbon footprint of manufactured products across multiple product categories.
Described as “a word processor for our modern video culture,” Canva’s easy-touse templated design allows people to create everything from business cards, sales presentations, social media ads, to yearbooks and more.
Flexport has built a software platform for companies to manage every aspect of their supply chain. With each node that Flexport digitizes, there’s more data to help customers resolve issues and inform new Flexport services — including order management, ocean freight procurement, and customs assistance.
LABS Dapper Labs, which makes and markets nonfungible tokens, helped make 2021 the year of the NFT. Dapper even built its own blockchain, called Flow, to handle transactions speedily, and it also created its own crypto wallet to facilitate credit card payments, which had never been done before.
- Back Market
An online marketplace for used electronics, Back Market began offering extended warranty repairs and launched a mobile app with a diagnostic tool that allows buyers to confirm that their refurbished gear is in top shape.
Initially, a single Toronto shop founded in 2014, Greenhouse has expanded to become a national, vertically integrated, omnichannel, beverage business. Along with its ongoing pursuit of better flavour combinations, operations, and ingredients, it marks as one of its primary innovations a novel processing method that increases the shelf-life of its products.
- Studio AM and River
A pair of Toronto-based studios make this list: Studio AM, which is a multi-disciplinary creative studio and its offshoot; and River, a platform that allows for virtual filming. River emerged from Studio AM and as a result of consistent feedback from clients, staff, and endusers is constantly being refined.
- The Canadian Shield
InkSmith, the parent company of The Canadian Shield, did a major pivot when the pandemic hit. It went from selling such educational technology as laser cutters and 3-D printers to using that same technology to create medical face shields. It not only helped meet Canada’s pressing need for domestically-produced PPE, but it also demonstrated how innovation can come from rapid responses to real-world crises
- Edesa Biotech, Inc.
A clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, Edesa Biotech is working on developing a drug capable of treating those hospitalized with the most severe cases of COVID-19. Another of Edesa’s planned innovations is a monthly Journal Club for employees, partners, and interns to meet, evaluate, and exchange ideas on recent medical and scientific literature. //
Peter Campbell | Contributing Writer