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25 promising start-up ideas the world may soon view as essential

The inaugural Upstart 25, CNBC's first-ever list of promising young start-ups, features a diverse group of companies that are building brands and breaking industry barriers on the path to becoming tomorrow's household names.

These entrepreneurial success stories are scaling quickly, growing user base and sales and attracting initial rounds of funding. There's always focus on the billion-dollar-plus unicorns, but there is more investment activity taking place among younger start-ups. Angel/seed capital reached $6.6 billion in 2016, according to PitchBook. In the past two years, early VC funding reached a decade high.

This is no exclusive Silicon Valley club. Five countries, eight U.S. states, and start-ups with 10 female founders made it. Read more about the methodology used to select the inaugural Upstart 25 companies.

  • Zume Pizza A robot apocalypse to end Domino's dominance
  • MobileQubes Daily immortality for your phone battery
  • SafeTrek The panic button to press before dialing 911
  • Markit Opportunity A farming app out of Africa
  • Cloudistics Keeping ahead in the clouds
  • Virtru Sharing company secrets and keeping them private
  • Superpedestrian A pedal-powered, urban Uber rival
  • LOLA Peace of mind for the female body, delivered monthly
  • Ellevest Wall Street's women-investing warrior
  • GuardiCore Out-tricking the next cyberattack
  • Dia&Co Finally, an A+ idea for plus-size women
  • Grokker Watching your health and fitness improve from anywhere
  • Midfin Systems Outdating Amazon Web Services
  • Pymetrics Brain games attracting better employees
  • Tesla NanoCoatings Applying paint to an oil and gas problem
  • Scalable Capital Online investing made better, not cheaper
  • Nima Digging into, detecting what you don't want to dine on
  • LANDR Audio Where A.I. meets Adele
  • Foodstirs Buffy the (organic, on-demand) Vampire Baker
  • ZeeMee An app to ace the college application process
  • Curb Taking control of climate change from your home
  • Hexadite The automated answer to endless security threats
  • Fireglass A reality check IT update: All content is malicious
  • InHerSight Breaking through the glass ceiling, one job at a time
  • DroneDeploy The new frequent flyer: 5 million acres mapped
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