2020 Disruptors

2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 — Deadline for Submissions – CED – Council ...

Disruptive companies fundamentally change their industries.  While many entrepreneurs tout that they will be disruptive — in fact, almost every one that I have ever heard pitch for money has made such a claim — very few actually deliver on their intended disruption.

Every year CNBC identifies fifty companies that they believe are truly disruptive.  I have had the pleasure to serve on the Board of Advisors for the CNBC Disruptor 50 List for the past several years.

Nothing has created more opportunity for disruption in my life time than has the coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic collapse.  The creation of this year’s list included explicit consideration of the impact that the coronavirus is having on the potential growth and disruption of this year’s finalists.

The coronavirus is transforming how we shop, how we work, how we seek healthcare, how we play, how we learn, and how we get our food.  This year’s Disruptor 50 covers a broad spectrum of industries, which illustrates the fundamental economic transformation now at work around the globe.

Top 5 Disruptors of 2020

The top five are as follows:

  1. Stripe — digital payment platform company that has now created a financing program, Stripe Capital, that is a quick and easy source of funding for small business
  2. Coupang — the “Amazon” of South Korea that delivers packages ordered by midnight before 7:00 the next morning
  3. Indigo Agriculture — seeks to use natural microbiology and technology to improve sustainability, profits for growers and consumer health
  4. Coursera — hitting close to home, this company offers individuals anywhere in the world access to online courses and degrees from top universities at a fraction of the cost
  5. Klarna — this already profitable Swedish fintech company has an app that lets customers buy at their favorite stores now, entering only their email and Zip code, but pay later

You can see the entire fifty companies on this year’s list here.

I planned to get this posted as soon as the list came our earlier this morning. However, I got lost reading about all of this year’s startups.  What an amazing group of companies! Just as in past economic crises, there is fertile ground for disruption, and this year’s Disruptor 50 offer us a peak into our future.


Here is how CNBC describes their methodology:

All private, independently owned start-up companies founded after Jan. 1, 2005, were eligible to be nominated for the Disruptor 50 list. Companies nominated were required to submit a detailed analysis, including key quantitative and qualitative information.

Quantitative metrics included company-submitted data on workforce size and diversity, scalability, and sales and user growth. Some of this information has been kept off the record and was used for scoring purposes only. CNBC also brought in data from a pair of outside partners — PitchBook, which provided data on fundraising, implied valuations and investor quality; and IBISWorld, whose database of industry reports were used to compare the companies based on the industries they are attempting to disrupt.