World-changing start-ups

The World Economic Forum has published its annual list of the most innovative businesses in the world containing 61 early-stage companies whose technologies are “poised to have a significant impact on business and society”.

While, as expected, a quarter of these are from Silicon Valley, there are several from the UK and the rest of Europe, as well as from Israel, Australia and New Zealand and emerging markets in Africa and South America. A further quarter came from businesses that are female-led.

One of the UK firms is BenevolentAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) firm that helps developers build software that can take advantage of unstructured information in scientific papers, patents, clinical trial information and from a large number of unstructured data sets.

Focused on biotechnology, the start-up is focused on helping to discover new drugs to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and rare cancers.

Another UK success is Everledger, which is putting diamonds on the blockchain. The Everledger blockchain provides a secure ledger that tracks and stores information about the colour, carat and certificate number of each diamond.

The company hopes to reduce and completely eliminate theft, illicit trafficking and fraud in the diamond and jewellery industry.

Meanwhile, UK business EVRYTHNG is a platform that allows users to easily manage and track physical objects digitally meaning that it can let a customer track a product as it moves through their supply chain for example.

As a spokeswoman for the World Economic Forum said, innovation comes from all corners of the earth and the next step for the Forum is to help these 61 ‘Pioneers’, as they are called, to bring their solutions to complex world-critical problems to global markets.

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