5 Mission North Clients Named to Fast Company's 'Most Innovative' List for 2023

Logos of Fast Company's '50 Most Innovative Companies' list for 2023

The tech industry is littered with awards, but one that certainly stands out is Fast Company’s list of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies, described as a “definitive chronicle of the novel ideas transforming business and society.” Mission North is pleased to announce that five of our clients were among those recognized this year.

Two of our clients — Benchling and Recursion — are life sciences companies; Canva is in our Future of Work practice; Toast serves commerce companies; and Stairwell is a cybersecurity company. Each provides what Fast Company calls “inspiring” technology that is enabling breakthroughs in science and business, and helping companies protect people and their online activities. Here’s more about each of the winners.


San Francisco-based Benchling was ranked No. 3 among Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in North America “for accelerating the next generation of drug development.” Benchling pioneered the R&D Cloud, which is used by more than 200,000 scientists at more than 1,000 biotech companies and 7,500 research institutes to make breakthrough discoveries and bring advances in medicines, food and materials to market faster than before. Benchling support for DeepMind’s AlphaFold enables scientists to predict the 3D structure of a protein for drug discovery. It supports RNA and mRNA R&D, giving biologists and chemists visualization tools for designing and modifying mRNA sequences. And after it added CRISPR gene-editing technology to the Benchling R&D cloud, scientists at Verve Therapeutics developed CRISPR-based therapy for heart disease and, last year, started human trials — the first time a person has received the treatment during a clinical trial.

<split-lines>"Benchling pioneered the R&D Cloud, which is used by more than 200,000 scientists at more than 1,000 biotech companies and 7,500 research institutes..."<split-lines>


Recursion, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, was ranked No. 7 in the Biotech category of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies. Recursion spent nearly a decade designing and scaling its Maps of Biology, one of the world’s largest proprietary biological and chemical datasets at more than 19 petabytes. The dataset was constructed at scale using robotic automation and genetic engineering. Last year, Recursion’s Maps of Biology used advanced computational methods like deep learning to predict more than 2.4 trillion relationships across biological contexts and chemical entities, many of which are novel insights not found in scientific literature. Recursion has created an expansive pipeline of internally-developed programs, including clinical-stage assets, focused on genetically-driven rare diseases and areas of oncology with significant unmet need and market opportunities. The company has a strategic partnership with Roche and Genentech in key areas of neuroscience and oncology that is the largest deal ever made in the field of technology-enabled drug discovery.


In the Enterprise category, Fast Company ranked Sydney-based Canva as the No. 1 most innovative company due to the introduction of new generative AI tools for the workplace. Canva offers a suite of tools called Visual Worksuite that enables employees to bring creativity and collaboration to their work, to turn slides into digital whiteboards, create dynamic data visualizations, and build voice-over integrations for presentations. It also uses AI to make it even easier for users to take the idea in their head, get it onto a page, and out into the world faster than ever before. The Canva community also generated more than 60 million images in less than six months using Canva’s new Text to Image app, and they’re using the AI-powered Magic Write copywriting assistant in Canva Docs to draft meeting agendas, brainstorm content ideas and write job descriptions.

<split-lines>"[Canva] also uses AI to make it even easier for users to take the idea in their head, get it onto a page, and out into the world faster than ever before."<split-lines>


Boston-based Toast was named the No. 2 most innovative company in the dining category for helping restaurants meet the challenges of a post-pandemic world. Toast’s mobile ordering, payments and digital menu solutions bring convenience to servers and customers, allowing guests to order meals and pay when they are ready without the need to wait for a server. This means servers have more time to provide individual attention to customers, to answer their questions and function more as hosts rather than taking orders and swiping cards. Toast for Hotel Restaurants offers a better point of sale (POS) integration with hotel property management systems. Toast Invoicing merges catering, events, and wholesale orders so restaurants can spend more time fulfilling all those orders and less time dealing with paperwork. And Toast’s Order with Google integration allows restaurants using Toast Online Ordering to tap into millions of guests ordering food through Google Search and Maps.


Stairwell, based in Mountain View, Calif., is ranked No. 10 among the most innovative cybersecurity companies. Its flagship product, Inception, is the world's first continuous intelligence, detection, and response (CIDR) platform. It eliminates blindspots in today's security tooling by building research-grade detections and analyses on a new dataset – files. Stairwell ingests, stores, scans, and derives intelligence from all of an organization's files in a dedicated cloud environment, which means attackers can't use the same evasion techniques that they use with other security tooling. With Inception, Stairwell's research team became the first commercial organization to coordinate with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on an advisory against the Maui ransomware reportedly used by North Korean cyber actors. By openly advancing threat research, Stairwell can globally raise the security posture of every organization simultaneously.

<split-lines>"Stairwell's research team became the first commercial organization to coordinate with CISA on an advisory against...ransomware used by North Korean cyber actors."<split-lines>

We’re proud to partner with each of these companies, helping them showcase such incredibly wide-ranging innovation – whether that’s in drug discovery, workplace tools or emerging cyber-threats. And we can’t wait to see what they have in store for the rest of 2023 and beyond.

To learn more about Mission North’s expertise and the work of our different practice groups, click here.

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