Facebook. Amazon. Apple. Not too long ago, these were the companies upending the status quo — unleashing provocative business models that changed our daily lives even as they transformed entire industries. Now it’s their turn to face the newbies.
The next class of start-ups aims to disrupt the disrupters. This drive to challenge norms is at the core of this year’s Chicago Ideas Week festival — co-hosted by TIME — which kicks off October 8 and features talks with Rahm Emanuel, Michael Bloomberg and many key entrepreneurs. It’s also at the heart of this list.
We examined more than 100 companies across a variety of sectors to highlight eight particularly telling innovations. Some are already reshaping their industries, while others are just getting started. Either way, success is a challenge. “It takes a lot of tweaking,” admits Elaine Chang, CEO of Social Teeth. “But at some point, we’ll get to something really, really good.” Take a look at these eight innovators who are reshaping our world.