Startups that Are Making Disruptive Technology the Norm

Startups that Are Making Disruptive Technology the Norm

Over the last 50 years, industry pundits have made a compelling observation – startups tend to be more innovative than large corporations. While there have been outliers (such as Apple under the direction of the late Steve Jobs), we have usually relied on startups to introduce disruptive technology. Over the last five years, disruptive technology has become a stronger driving force than ever before. A number of new startups are making disruptive technology a constant. According to research from McKinsey, 12 forms of disruptive technology can create up to $33 trillion in value for the global economy by 2025. The Internet of Things, cloud computing, 3-D printing and new forms of energy storage are setting new standards that will endure decades to come. Here are some of the top brands driving these innovations.


The Internet of Things is one of the most ground-breaking forms of disruptive technology to grace the 21st Century. However, there are still some technical limitations that hinder its effectiveness. The biggest concern is its reliance on WiFi. If a WiFi connection goes down, the Internet of Things ceases to function. Afero is a California based startup that is tackling this challenge. Alfero develops new modules for edge devices, which limits dependence on WiFi. The company has raised over $20 million in seed capital and expects to bring more products to the market in the near future.

Grove Labs

Over the last century, society has become more urbanized and less self-sufficient. People have become highly dependent on factory farms and wholesalers, which has created several concerns:
  • People have less control over the quality of the food they consume, such as GMOs and harmful pesticides.
  • People will be unable to fend for themselves if a major disaster disrupts the national food supply.
Grove Labs has created a new solution that will make people less dependent on commercial food suppliers. They have created an in-home garden that allows people to easily create their own food supplies.


Just a decade ago, 3D printing seemed like a concept out of a science fiction novel. Today, it is becoming more sophisticated every month. In the past, 3D printers could only create plastic objects. Today, new 3D printers are capable of creating metal parts as well. Most 3D printers rely on metal dust fillings, which often have a lot of impurities and poor consistency. However, XJet is different. This company has developed a 3D printer that relies on liquid metal. It is the first of its kind and has broken down many of the barriers that kept previous 3D printers from producing some of the complex tools people have already built specs for.

Nautilus Data Technologies

As fears of global warming and depleting supplies of fossil fuels escalate, data providers must find ways to deliver more economical and energy efficient solutions. These include providing underwater data centers. While Microsoft built the world’s first underwater data center, it was shut down after a few preliminary scalability tests. Catalyst for Business reports that Nautilus Data Technologies created the first permanent underwater data solution. “Google almost became the first corporation to develop a floating data center, but the project was abandoned earlier this year and the barge has since been repurposed into a standard freight hauler. Microsoft, on the other hand, is taking a deeper approach with its innovative underwater data center. While industry-leaders strive to create energy-efficient solutions, Nautilus Data Technologies has built one of the world’s first successful ocean-based data centers.”


As people become more concerned about the sustainability of limited resources and fears of global warming, energy companies are looking for more renewable alternatives. They plan to harness solar, geothermal and wind energy to power society in the years to come. However, they faced several logistical challenges. The biggest issue has been trying to make data-based decisions on locating their infrastructure to make the most of the time and resources they must invest. Windward is a maritime data analytics company that plans to make the task easier. According to TechCrunch, they have raised over $15 million in seed funding.  CEO and co-founder Ami Daniel initially planned to focus on maritime security, but the company is now focusing on much more exciting prospects, such as maritime energy solutions. “As the company evolved, we realized that the potential applications of real maritime visibility were far more wide-reaching than just security and intelligence, and that our data could bring huge value across the ecosystem, from financial markets to global supply chains, international trading patterns, and more,” Daniel said.

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