Businesses Innovating on the Edge

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Ideas Born on the "Edge"

Innovations stemming from tiny markets can have huge effects. Dartmouth's Vijay Govindarajan made what's called "edge" innovation famous in a 2009 study outlining General Electric's need to look to developing world for simple medical innovations to bring to the United States. Today, innovators look to small businesses and entrepreneurs that find success in niche markets for better ways to solve problems on a larger scale. "Edge conditions, whether in Brooklyn or India, can be right outside your front door," says Fred Dust, head of IDEO's System at Scale. "And their solutions can change how the masses do business." Here's a look at a few small businesses on the edge and how they are making waves in big ways.