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Top 10 Businesses to Watch in 2013

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The editors at Masters in Business Degrees decided to research the topic of:

Top 10 Businesses to Watch in 2013


- Allows in-store credit card payments to be made using mobile devices
- Customers use the Square app to pay in participating stores
- Other features
- Users have the option to leave a tip
- Some stores offer rewards for paying with Square
- Callout: Square also manufactures credit card readers for smartphones
- 2012 - Obtained rights to process payments for all US Starbucks stores
- Processes more than $10 billion annually


- Ensures the legitimacy of products using coded stickers
- By texting the code to Sproxil's service, consumers can see if their product is fraudulent
- Failed as a way to check if produce is organic
- Began using it on pharmaceuticals
- 700,000 people die each year from counterfeit tuberculosis and malaria drugs
- Sproxil is now spreading to other products such as agricultural goods and auto parts


- Goal: Eliminate dengue fever
- Dengue fever kills 22,000 people/year
- Permanently harms 500,000 people/year
- Genetically engineers male mosquitoes
- When they mate with wild females, their offspring die young
- Studies have shown that this does not have a negative effect on ecosystems
- On Grand Cayman Island, the population of dengue-carrying mosquitoes was cut by 80%
- Oxitex has begun testing on insects that destroy crops in developing regions
- olive flies, cotton pest moths and fruit flies


- Nest is a home thermostat that learns its users habits in order to adjust and save energy
- When they get home from work
- Preferred sleep-time temperature
- The first version (released in 2011) helped to cut energy bills by an average of $173/year and worked in 75% of homes
- The new version will work in 95% of homes
- A deal with Texas Reliant puts Nest in the homes of all service users
- This year, Nest plans to make more utility deals and spread into Europe

Proteus Digital

- July 2012 - the FDA approved Proteus's ingestible sensor
- It's the size of a grain of sand is powered by stomach acid
- When swallowed with medicine, it sends information to your smartphone
- Tracks intake schedule
- Tracks how drug affects the body
- callout: Failure to follow prescribed care costs the US at least $100 billion/year
- MedMatch
- When patients take their pills regularly, participating drug companies donate drugs to people who can't afford them
- CEO Andrew Thompson expects the sensor to eventually be embedded directly into pharmaceuticals


- Coursera offers massive open online courses (MOOCs)
- Founded April 2012, working with 4 university partners
- As of July 2013, Coursera is working with 83 educational institutions and offering over 400 free college-level courses
- After its launch, many college professors questioned how MOOCs would change higher education
- Is the aim to save money rather than better education?
- Coursera has begun to work on marketing courses to universities in blended on-campus classes
- Universities would pay a licensing fee that Coursera will share with the institutions that produce the courses


- Powered by Android, Ouya is an open-source gaming console
- August 2012- Received $8,596,474 in crowdsourcing on Kickstarter (of a $950,000 goal)
- Designed to be fully hackable
- Game design is placed into the hands of the players
- All games are cheap or completely free
- All games are free to try
- Besides gameplay, Ouya streams shows, movies and music
- Whether Ouya will change the gaming industry is being questioned
- The model eliminates licensing fees and publishing costs but games are small-scale compared to those for the Xbox and Playstation

Pig Newton

- Production company of comedien-actor-writer-director Louis C.K.
- The company has created a new model for fans to buy directly from artists without breaking the bank
- In late 2011, Louis C.K. released a comedy special online for $5
- Sold hundreds of thousands of copies
- In 2012, C.K. sold tickets to his performances directly to fans for $45
- The discounted price came with stipulations (like no scalping)
- In 2012, many other performers adopted his model, cutting out the middleman and saving money for fans


- A portable USB plug-in that allows users to browse the Internet privately and without leaving a trace
- Encrypts web browsing, has its own web browser, bypasses firewalls and saves all information to the device without leaving a trace on any computer
- The firewall bypass can enable users to access Facebook at work or freely browse the Internet in China.
- September 2011 - Received $69,404 in crowdsourcing on Kickstarter (of a $12,500 goal)
- SurfEasy was putting the finishing touches on their technology when Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA
- SurfEasy can help people use the Internet by encrypting activity and shielding IP addresses, making it harder for Big Brother to snoop


- An app that allows users to easily hail and pay for city cabs
- Launched in the UK in 2011
- In 2.5 years, Hailo has picked up 2.5 million passengers
- Every 5 seconds, someone hails a cab with the app
- Approx. 20% of NYC cab drivers use the service
- Hailo is slowly expanding the service to more cities across the globe
- Currently in the US, Hailo is available in Boston, Chicago, New York City and Washington DC (total of 11 around the world)