When it comes to spotting the most impactful technologies early on, you might think that professional venture capitalists take top honors…
But recently, a non-profit tucked away in Switzerland has been giving venture funds a run for their money.
Every year, this organization holds a conference in the Swiss Alps. Guests include Bill Gates, Bill Clinton and Elon Musk, to name just a few.
As part of the event, these guests create an annual list of the world’s most important new technologies and start-ups.
The list is called “The Technology Pioneers,” and it’s become famous for including young start-ups that, many years later, become hugely successful.
Two of its past selections, for example, include alternative lending company LendingClub (it became the largest U.S. IPO of 2014), and “big data” start-up Palantir (now a pre-IPO company worth $20 billion.)
Other selections throughout the years have included Google, Twitter, and Airbnb—all when they were still early-stage start-ups.
Two weeks ago, when I got my hands on this year’s list of Technology Pioneers, I made a shocking discovery…
And today, I’ll show you how this discovery can help investors like you get into the “next big thing” while it’s still on the ground floor.
A Good Place to Find Start-ups
At Crowdability, we often introduce you to high-quality “funding platforms”—the websites where you can invest in promising young companies before they become household names.
One such site is called OurCrowd.
Like other platforms we write about, OurCrowd connects private companies that need capital with individual investors—folks like you who are looking to make investments with significant upside potential.
But OurCrowd is unique in that it also acts like a venture capital fund.
You see, after it determines that a start-up is worthy of being featured on its platform (only about 2 of every 100 companies make the cut), it puts skin in the game:
It writes a check to the company, with its own money.
Then, once it’s committed its own capital, it offers you the ability to invest alongside it—on the same terms, at the same time.
This lowers your investment risk:
It puts you on a level playing field with professional venture investors
And we’ve already seen proof that the strategy works. Here’s just one example:
In June 2013, OurCrowd raised $1.2 million for a company called ReWalk.
ReWalk makes a bionic assisted walking system. Simply put, it allows paraplegics to walk again.
On September 12, 2014, ReWalk Robotics (NASDAQ: RWLK) went public.
By the end of the day, folks like you who’d invested in ReWalk through OurCrowd were sitting on gains of 536%.
OK, so now let’s see what all this has to do with this year’s list of Tech Pioneers…
As I scrolled through the 2015 list of Technology Pioneers, I soon noticed two familiar companies:
ElMindA, and Consumer Physics.
ElMindA is a medical technology company that’s aiming to revolutionize the management of brain disorders and injuries.
And Consumer Physics has built a low-cost “spectrometer” that enables you to instantly understand the chemical composition of any object around you—from food to medicines.
These two companies were familiar to me for a simple reason:
They’d raised money on OurCrowd when they were still early-stage companies—from investors like you.
A Few of Its Current Companies
OurCrowd raises money for dozens of start-ups each year.
Here are a few of the companies that it’s currently featuring.
Engie – An online marketplace aiming to disrupt the $300 billion global auto-repair industry. Engie interprets signals from a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic system, then allows mechanics to submit service bids in real-time. One of the founders formerly co-founded traffic app, Waze, which was acquired by Google for about $1 billion.
Amitree – This tech company has built a personalized dashboard for buying a home. Co-investors include venture capital fund Accel (prior investments include Facebook, Kayak and Spotify), and Jerry Yang, the founder of Yahoo.
mPrest – This tech start-up created the command and control software behind Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system. Now it’s applying its technology to non-military uses, starting with large infrastructure systems such as utility companies.
OurCrowd deals tend to go quickly, but don’t worry if you missed any of the companies we wrote about today…
Every week or so, it lists new companies—in fact, you’re probably already seeing them in Crowdability’s weekly deal round up on Monday mornings.
The Next ElMindA or Google?
It’s exciting to discover new companies on OurCrowd—companies that might wind up on next year’s list of Technology Pioneers.
And it’s exciting to think you might back the next ElMindA or Consumer Physics (or Google or Twitter), and profit from its success.
Just keep in mind: these companies are still start-ups—so if you’re thinking about investing, manage your risk by investing in a portfolio of them over time.
Please note: Crowdability has no relationship with OurCrowd or with any of the companies featured on its platform. We’re an independent provider of education, information and research on start-ups and alternative investments.