How we chose the list of companies
A year ago, the ninth annual Disruptor 50 list was born under very different circumstances. A year ago, companies were going public at a record pace and using a variety of tools to access public markets. We expected the companies on last year’s list to come out quickly, and many of them did. The party was raging.
A year later, the music stopped. Most new public companies were left without a president, and many fell through. Meanwhile, those who have remained deprived are, to extend the metaphor, floating in the air. They may still have high valuations, but there is little point in having them test the public markets.
Public or private, however, start-ups face the same market conditions: rising costs, rising wages, rising interest rates, supply chain disruptions, strong but jittery consumption, and businesses wondering if they must continue to invest in growth or begin to prepare times. The companies on the Disruptor 50 2022 list face these challenges, but they also represent the way forward, a chance to innovate out of a new crisis.
Disruptive innovation is anti-inflationary by definition. Classic disruption targets a set of new technologies at a problem and finds a solution that is both better and cheaper. Disruptors 2022 aim for a wide range of solutions, unraveling supply chains, controlling carbon emissions, democratizing access to financial services and improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations.
We anticipate that the 50 companies on this tenth annual list will continue to grow and innovate while inspiring change in their biggest incumbent competitors as we follow them through this year and next. Many, perhaps more than ever, will become long-lasting Disruptor 50 businesses.
This year, six Disruptors made the list for the fourth time. Impossible Foods made the list for the fifth time (it first made the list in 2015, at a time when it barely had enough product for a live taste test). Stripe is an eight-time Disruptor 50, joining Airbnb as the only companies in the history of the list with this distinction, and its $95 billion valuation is the richest in the Disruptor 50’s 10-year history.
But Stripe is the outlier. The bulk of the 2022 list is made up of companies that have only earned a spot for the first or second time. It’s a sign of a generational shift in the Disruptor 50, from a group of companies that took advantage of the emerging ubiquity of smartphones and emerged from the depths of the Great Recession, to a new generation of startups. -mission-driven ups born in an era of social and political upheaval but (mostly) favorable market conditions, suddenly facing the possibility of a recession and, most likely, a much longer path to the public markets .
Here’s how we picked this year’s list:
All private, independent startups founded after January 1, 2007 were eligible to be nominated for the Disruptor 50 list. Nominated companies 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 was not recorded and was only used for scoring purposes. CNBC also brought data from a pair of outside partners – PitchBook, which provided data on fundraising, implied valuations and investor quality; and IBISWorldwhose database of industry reports we use to compare companies based on the industries they are trying to disrupt.
CNBC’s Disruptor 50 Advisory Council – a group of 55 leading thinkers in innovation and entrepreneurship from around the world (see list of members below) – then ranked the quantitative criteria by importance and ability to disrupt established industries and state-owned enterprises. This year, the board again found that scalability and user growth were the most important criteria, followed by sales growth and the use of breakthrough technologies (including, most often, artificial intelligence and machine learning). These categories received the highest weighting, but the ranking model is designed to ensure companies score high on a wide range of criteria to make the final list.
Companies were also asked to submit important qualitative information, including descriptions of their primary business model, ideal customers, and recent company milestones. A team of more than 30 CNBC editorial staff, including TV anchors, reporters and producers, as well as CNBC.com writers and editors, as well as numerous advisory board members, read the submissions. and provided overall qualitative assessments of each company.
Qualitative scores were combined with a weighted quantitative score to determine which 50 companies made the list and in what order.
Special thanks to the CNBC Disruptor 50 2022 Advisory Board, who once again volunteered their time and insights. As always, we appreciate their contributions:
- Rob Adams, Managing Partner, Congress Avenue Ventures and Fellow of the University of Texas IC2 Institute
- Ron Adner, Professor, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business
- Anita Anantharam, Professor, University of Florida
- Suzanne Bergmeister, Executive Director, James Madison University Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship
- Edward Blair, Chair of Entrepreneurship, University of Houston
- Robert Brunner, Disruption Director, University of Illinois Gies College of Business
- Candida Brush, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College
- Howard W. Buffett, President, Global Impact LLC and Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
- John Sibley Butler, Professor, University of Texas
- Gary Chan, Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Jim Chung, Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, George Washington University
- Shawn Clark, Professor/Director, Penn State University
- Benjamin M. Cole, Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship, Fordham University Gabelli School of Business
- Chris Coleridge, Principal Faculty of Management Practice, University of Cambridge
- Jason D’Mello, Associate Professor, Loyola Marymount University
- Donna De Carolis, Dean, Drexel University Close School of Entrepreneurship
- Monica Dean, Executive Director, University of Southern California Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership
- Judi Eyles, Director, Iowa State University Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship
- Clare Gately, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Waterford Institute of Technology and EDHEC Business School
- Ari Ginsberg, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management, New York University Stern School of Business
- Michael Goldberg, Executive Director, Case Western Reserve University Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship
- Michael Goldsby, Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship, Ball State University
- Henrich R. Greve, Professor of Entrepreneurship, INSEAD
- Anil K. Gupta, President and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, University of Maryland
- Mike Haynie, Vice Chancellor and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Syracuse University
- Lisa Hehenberger, Associate Professor and Director, Esade Business School Center for Social Impact
- Michael Hendron, Academic Director and Associate Professor, Brigham Young University-Provo Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship
- Keith Hmieleski, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Texas Christian University
- Jim Jindrick, Director of Corporate Engagement (retired), University of Arizona
- Neil Kane, Assistant Professor and ESTEEM Program Director, University of Notre Dame
- Sandra Kauanui, Director, Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship at Florida Gulf Coast University
- Donald F. Kuratko, Distinguished Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Indiana University-Bloomington Kelley School of Business
- Rob Lalka, Professor of Business and Executive Director, Tulane University Freeman School of Business Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Debra Lam, Executive Director, Georgia Tech Partnership for Inclusive Innovation
- Marie Josée Lamothe, Professor, McGill University
- Vincent Lewis, Associate Vice President, Entrepreneurial Initiatives, University of Dayton
- Alex McKelvie, Associate Dean and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Syracuse University Whitman School of Management
- Scott Newbert, Academic Director, Baruch College Field Programs in Entrepreneurship
- Dan Olszewski, Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship
- Banu Ozkazanc-Pan, Associate Professor of Engineering Practice, Brown University
- Gerhard Plaschka, Professor, DePaul University
- Julia Prats, Professor of Entrepreneurship, IESE Business School
- Jeff Reid, Professor of Practice and Founding Director, Georgetown University Entrepreneurship Initiative
- Lyneir Richardson, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Rutgers Business School
- Matthew Rutherford, Professor and President, Oklahoma State University
- Amelia Schaffner, Founding Director, Emory University Goizueta Business School Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Mark Schenkel, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Belmont University
- Albert Segars, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
- John H. Shannon, Professor, Seton Hall University
- Lewis Sheats, Director, Saint Louis University Chaifetz Center for Entrepreneurship
- Robert Stein, Executive Director, University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence
- Thales Teixeira, co-founder and CEO, Decoupling.co and Fmr. Professor, Harvard Business School
- David Touve, Senior Director, University of Virginia Darden School of Business Batten Institute
- Ari Wallach, CEO, Longpath Labs
- David Zvilichovsky, Senior Academic Professor, Tel Aviv University and Professor of Global Modular Courses, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
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