- A CB Insights report identified a group of leading startups to watch next year in a dozen categories, as part of its Game Changers 2020 report. The young companies across sectors exhibit "high-momentum" and are currently developing technology that can potentially "transform society and economies for the better."
- In the technology realm, the company highlighted the work of chipmakers Ayar Labs, Lightmatter and Luminous Computing as enablers of artificial intelligence workloads. Crypto Quantique, ISARA Corporation and SpeQtral rose atop the quantum cryptography category for their role in the advanced protection of sensitive data.
- In the field of AI transparency, CB Insights outlined the work of DarwinAI, Fiddler Labs and Kyndi. As part of the rising trend of explainable AI, these startups let companies understand how AI arrives at specific decisions "in human terms."
In recent years, access to mid- and large-sized funding rounds to scale a company has skyrocketed, a trend that equips startups with resources they need to scale their technology.
But the challenge for younger tech companies doesn't stop at building a quality product. They must also be skilled at cutting past a noisy vendor market and accurately convey to enterprise customers how they're able to deliver value.
|Ayar Labs||Makers of high-speed, high-density, low-power optical interconnect "chiplets" and lasers.|
|Lightmatter||Accelerators of critical operations in deep neural networks using programmable photonic elements made alongside transistors in conventional computer chip fabrication processes.|
|Luminous Computing||Makers of a photonics chip designed to handle AI workloads.|
|Crypto Quantique||A quantum-driven end-to-end IoT security platform that enables vertically integrated and secure IoT deployments.|
|ISARA Corporation||A security solutions company specializing in production-ready quantum-safe cryptography.|
|SpeQtral||Developers of space-based quantum networks for global delivery of secure encryption keys.|
|DarwinAI||Using AI, the company obtains an understanding of a neural network, then applies it to generate highly compact versions of that model.|
|Fiddler Labs||Makers of an AI engine with explainability at its core, which lets companies understand, analyze and validate AI predictions.|
|Kyndi||Creators of an auditable and explainable AI platform with built-in Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities.|
Vendors the size of Microsoft, Amazon and Google — alongside the more consumer-facing Facebook and Apple — have a strong appetite for acquiring AI startups, a move aimed at acquiring top talent and boosting the existing capabilities of their products.
Especially in the case of AI startups, the ultimate path to growth could lie behind an acquisition from some of the leading names in tech.
The rising list of companies can find a captive audience in the companies undergoing a digital transformation process. When taken on correctly, managers at those organizations are called to deploy large scale processes that reshape the way they do business.
A key challenge to a startup's long-term sustainability lies in its ability to secure the talent it needs, with competitors in hot pursuit over tech workers in high-demand fields. In spaces like cybersecurity, the demand is so steep there is near-universal employment while vacancies pile up.