The 100 companies selected by Red Herring magazine in this year’s judging reflect the rich vein of innovation and entrepreneurial activity in Europe and the Middle East. The selection process focused on technology, quality of management, financing, and the company’s competitive positions.
The 100 companies range from a Finnish company trying to harness the power of tides to a Belgian biotech company that uses llama blood to create therapeutic proteins. The geographic range is impressive, too. The largest number of companies on the list is based in the United Kingdom (28), with France and Israel tying for second place with 17 each. Yet, this year there are also winners from Dubai, Romania, and the Czech Republic.
The Red Herring 100 list reflects the prevailing trends in entrepreneurial activity and financing. A lot of brainpower is still being devoted to connecting people. Communications continues to be the largest sector on the list with 32 companies, followed by Internet services with 18. One of the hottest areas is mobile communications, with a number of companies offering chipsets and software to manage the downloading of video and other rich media to handsets and mobile phones and to help make the transition from Wi-Fi to WiMAX and VoIP.