Fast Company announced its annual ranking of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2018, honoring leading enterprises and rising newcomers that exemplify the best in business and innovation. Five hotel companies are among this year’s lists: Graduate Hotels is the only hotel brand in the top 50 innovative companies list and is also in the top 10 for travel; Best Western is among the top 10 innovative companies for the augmented reality/virtual reality category (AR/VR); Marriott is among the top 10 innovative companies for design; and both Hilton Worldwide and Equinox are among the top 10 innovative companies for wellness.
The 50 Most Innovative Companies were curated from Fast Company‘s Top 10 lists, which recognize pioneering companies across 36 categories, from artificial intelligence to wellness. More than three dozen Fast Company editors, reporters, and contributors surveyed thousands of companies—many of which were identified by a new MIC submission process—to create these lists.
Fast Company says that its annual rankings of innovative companies provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy. “This year’s MIC list is an inspiring and insightful window into how many companies have embraced innovation and are working to make meaningful change,” explains Fast Company deputy editor David Lidsky, who oversaw the issue with senior editor Amy Farley.
Ranked as the 50th most innovative company in the world as well as the second most innovative company in the travel category, Graduate Hotels made the list “for bringing team spirit to university towns,” according to Fast Company. The brand is designed for college markets in second and third-tier cities. Its portfolio is growing with 10 hotels open at the end of 2017 and a goal of opening in 100 markets in the next 10 years.
Marriott has made Fast Company‘s list of innovative companies in the past—last year, the company was among the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies and among the top 10 for travel in 2016 and 2017. This year, Marriott ranked fourth in the design sector for “creating user-friendly, tech-centric experiences.” Fast Company noted Marriott’s investment in efforts like its design-thinking lab and IoT “room of the future.”
Best Western Hotels & Resorts ranked sixth in the AR/VR category for offering guests virtual reality tours through its Best Western Virtual Reality Experience (BWVRE), which uses VR technology to reinvent the way guests view and shop for hotels. The brand also uses VR in employee training to transform communications between front desk staff and guests.
Hilton came in third in the wellness category for integrating exercise equipment into guestrooms. Guests at select hotels can take advantage of its “Five Feet to Fitness” program, which adds health-focused, in-room amenities like fitness equipment, gym storage, exercise tutorials, and nutritional drinks.
Luxury fitness brand Equinox also ranked among the top 10 innovative companies for wellness, coming in at number eight for its new hotel concept, Equinox Hotels. The company, which owns subsidiary brands like SoulCycle and Pure Yoga, is breaking into the lifestyle hotel segment with its first property slated to open in New York City next year.
The top ten companies across all industries on this year’s list are: (1) Apple, (2) Netflix, (3) Square, (4) Tencent, (5) Amazon, (6) Patagonia, (7) CVS Health, (8) Washington Post Company, (9) Spotify, and (10) NBA. Nearly 30 companies appear on this year’s list for the first time, including: Stitch Fix, Diamond Foundry, Patreon, and Ford Foundation.
Photo credit: Graduate Hotels