TAG unveils its 40 most innovative companies of 2014

By Eli Watkins

The nefarious problem of cyber crime resonated in the list of Georgia’s Most Innovative Companies recognized at this year’s Georgia Technology Summit, which brought over a thousand people together to celebrate Georgia’s technology community.

Many of the companies recognized cyber crime as a threat to the infrastructure that supports our daily lives. Bastille focused on securing the internet of things, while NexDefense has worked to secure infrastructure like electricity and other utilities. Bluefin Payment Systems has used its security technology to protect monetary transactions.

An award committee selected by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the industry organization that hosted on this yearly event, highlighted 40 businesses as the state’s most innovative. Of those 40 most innovative companies, the top 10 honorees each briefly gave presentations.

The businesses spanned the gamut of Georgia’s tech sector, offering ways to protect our data and change how we sleep, among other things. Each company identified a problem facing customers in their area of focus, and then they developed creative solutions for those problems and ultimately, made successful bets on those risky solutions.

One top ten honoree, AnswerRocket, saw that businesses of all kinds had too much information obscured by too many technical hurdles. So, AnswerRocket built an algorithmic search engine that allows people to ask straightforward questions to formerly indecipherable technical information. The company’s next step will be answering questions that are more complex.

Pete Reilly, one of the cofounders of AnswerRocket, said, “We’re working on answering questions like why and what if.”

BitPay has used Bitcoin technology to secure and transform radically how people and businesses deal with money.  Greenway Health and Sharecare have both sought to leverage internet technology and mobile solutions to change how the medical community operates and how patients and doctors interact.

Rounding out the top ten were businesses that have used technology to upend the typical approaches to their fields. Parkmobile used mobile technology to reserve and pay for parking with an eye towards a future where parking is an utterly effortless process. QSpex utilized technology and a unique business model to offer its customers same day delivery of customized, prescription eyewear. ReST took a nearly ubiquitous problem, restlessness and inefficient sleep, and built a bed with smart technology.

Rob Golden, the CEO and founder of ReST, said, “What we’ve developed is the first real smartbed.”

He said the bed adapts to what the user needs to sleep comfortably throughout the night.

Once all the presentations were over, the summit’s attendees voted for their favorite businesses in various categories. Among the winners was AnswerRocket for coolest technology, Greenway Health for most likely to create jobs and QSpex for most likely to succeed.