William Pollard once said, “Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” Thankfully, people recognize this basic fact and continue to look for new ways to improve the world. Following are ten innovators who are definitely succeeding in this goal.
Elizabeth Holmes: Theranos
Elizabeth Holmes is the innovator behind Theranos, the company that has made obtaining a lab test not only fast and convenient, but also affordable. With more than four million tests completed and 30,000 reviews provided by customers, this company receives a 4.84 rating out of 5 when it comes to customer satisfaction. Patients love this company as it offers more than 150 tests for $10 or under.
SCiO developed a handheld scanner that can provide a wealth of information about a variety of products. A consumer can scan a food product and determine the nutritional facts or determine if a capsule contains nutritional supplements or medicine. As more people make use of this technology, the database will expand and the device will be able to analyze more products.
Google’s Project Loon
Project Loon works to bring the Internet to users across the globe. Many people assume everyone has access to the World Wide Web, yet two-thirds of people across the globe don’t have access to the Internet at this time. Project Loon makes use of balloons that travel on the edge of space and each balloon is designed to fill a coverage gap, bringing the Internet to those areas that don’t have it. The technology also enables individuals to make use of the Internet following a natural disaster if traditional internet connectivity is disrupted.
Elon Musk: Tesla and SpaceX
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, wants to bring electric cars to the general public, solar power to more people, and astronauts to Mars. The innovator wishes to do much more than this, however, as seen by his push to bring Tesla batteries to consumers who don’t own one of these cars, one for home use and one that is scaled for utility to handle a bigger load. His ultimate goal is to see the shift to a sustainable energy economy, and all of his work focuses on that goal in some way.
Plant-E strives to power the world through the use of living plants. Imagine a world where green roofs power homes and rice paddies become a power plant. Plant-E hopes to accomplish this, and launched their first two systems on November 5, 2015 with more projects to come.
Stewart Butterfield: Slack
Stewart Butterfield may be best known for running Flickr, but that has changed. His startup, Slack, is a business app that many believe is the fastest growing app of its type ever. With the help of desktop and mobile app versions, users find they can access their messages and archives, upload files or receive notifications while at home, work, or on the go.
Isabel Hoffman: Tellspec
Isabel Hoffman, founder and CEO of Tellspec Inc., strives to educate people about clean, healthy food, with her goal of creating a world in which food wholly benefits the health of humans. The Tellspec device scans food at the molecular level, allowing individuals to know the calorie count, any allergens contained in the food, the glycemic index, and more. With this device, people can make informed decisions about what they are putting in their body.
The future of medicine may involve genome editing, and Editas Medicine is in favor of it. This company makes use of technology to modify genes in the body in an effort to treat various ailments at the genetic level. The goal of this technology is to start, halt, or edit those genes responsible for a disease. As Alexis Borisy, the director of Editas Medicine and a partner in Third Rock Ventures explains, this process will debug any errors in the human software which bring about disease.
Non-invasive blood tests, in the form of liquid biopsies, may be the future of cancer care. Oncology doctors frequently turn to tumor genome sequencing in an effort to provide better treatment for their patients. Unfortunately, the current methods of obtaining tumor biopsy tissue come with some risks, and they tend to be costly and painful. Furthermore, they take time. A liquid biopsy, in contrast, allows the doctor to take serial samples to detect any changes in the tumor in real time. This is nothing more than a blood test that detects circulating tumor cells, along with any fragments of tumors, which have made it into the blood from the primary site or metastatic sites. As a result of the ease of this test, doctors can make changes to treatment in a timely manner and halt therapy that isn’t producing the desired results.
Faheem Hasnain: CEO of Receptos, Inc.
Faheem Hasnain serves as the president and CEO of Receptos, Inc, a biotech company that is committed to collegiality and transparency. The company, which focuses on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics in immune disease, recently experienced an overnight boost in their stock by 41 percent.