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Fast Company Names “Most Innovative Companies of 2021”

  • Fast Company releases list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies
  • Highlighted companies show “creative problem-solving and fearlessness” in adapting to unfavorable business conditions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • For the first time, the publication’s sector-based lists highlight small businesses

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The business publication Fast Company has issued its annual list of the most innovative companies in the world, highlighting businesses that have met the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and managed to thrive.

Fast Company editors created several Top 10 lists showcasing innovative companies in various regions and sectors, and selected 50 businesses for its “World’s Most Innovative Companies” list. The publication said these companies “embody creative problem-solving and fearlessness in the face of crisis.”

Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech tied for the list’s top spot after developing a COVID-19 vaccine that was 94 percent effective. The businesses were followed by Shopify, which was honored for giving small businesses an option for setting up e-commerce during the pandemic, and SpaceX, which in 2020 became the first private company to send astronauts to the International Space Station.

For the first time, Fast Company’s rankings also highlighted small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The publication said it originally intended to showcase companies with innovative ideas in development, but was impressed to find that many businesses “have punched well above their weight” and are challenging larger competitors.

The top-ranked innovative small businesses included Thimble, a service offering fast, flexible, customized insurance policies for small biz; Pledge, which integrates with Zoom to support fundraising efforts at virtual gatherings; and, an online store partnering with independent bookstores to give shoppers a chance to support local shops instead of taking their business to Amazon.

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