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The 2018 NewCo Honors Awards

NewCo Honors

The NewCo Honors celebrates three different kinds of organizations, each embodies the “company acting as a citizen” ethos we have written about extensively. They’ve put purpose over profits, or people over process, or led the way in a new market with significant positive impact. These honors are bestowed each year for actions in the preceding year.

NewCo Honors are given to:

  1. The NonProfitCo, an award that celebrates a non-profit that’s going above and beyond on serving their communities;
  2. The BigCo, a large, established brand that’s transformed its operating model and put purpose at the core of what they do;
  3. The NewCo, which is a tough job to do given that we’ve identified over 2,500 of them across the world. A NewCo is, put simply, a new kind of company with innovative offerings and a deep-rooted focus on a mission beyond profit.

There’s never been a more important time to identify and celebrate these types of organizations: they’re the engines of positive change in our society, and they serve as a model for changemakers and entrepreneurs across the world.

NewCo Honors nominees and winners are selected by a panel of experts. The 2018 panel is comprised of Fred Wilson (Founder USV), Jeff Weiner (CEO LinkedIn), Tina Sharkey (Founder, Brandless), Zem Joaquin (Founder, EcoFabulous), Arianna Huffington (Founder and CEO, Thrive Global),  John Battelle (CEO and Editor-in-Chief, NewCo), Brad Feld (Managing Director, Foundry Group), and Jenny Stefanotti (Director, Ushahidi).

Winners will be announced at Shift Forum on February 26, 2018. Only a limited number of seats available for purchase. Register today.

2018 Nominees







2017 Winners


Big companies are undergoing one of the most significant transformations in modern history. It’s not just tech that’s driving it: employees, partners, and communities are demanding that capitalism do more than extract profits and cut costs. The world’s biggest companies are being challenged to rethink their relationship with society. It’s not common to celebrate these BigCos, but we think they’re key to the shift towards a more sustainable, inclusive economy. Few companies exemplify this more than Unilever, which has become a global leader in sustainability and social responsibility — particularly with its commitment to preserving the culture and missions of the smaller companies it has acquired (Dollar Shave, Seventh Generation, and more).


“When I talk to young, ambitious entrepreneurs about the companies they admire most, 9 times out of 10 I hear one of two companies: Tesla or Solar City.” Those are the words of James Joaquin, co-founder of Obvious Ventures, as he announced Tesla as the NewCo winner at Shift Forum in February 2017. It’s a point that’s hard to refute: Tesla, specifically, is a benchmark for aspiring entrepreneurs across the world, and a great example of a company that’s using the power of business and technology to address some of society’s biggest social problems. Tesla is what we consider a “Total NewCo”  — a business that’s focused on addressing a deep, systemic social problem and uses leverages new technologies to do it.


Formerly incarcerated men and women are some of the greatest underdogs in America. Catherine Hoke, Founder and CEO of Defy Ventures, set out to change that when starting the organization back in 2004. Since then, Defy Ventures has served over 525 formerly incarcerated “Entrepreneurs-in-Training” through an entrepreneurship, employment, and leadership training program. The results speak for themselves: Defy’s recidivism rate is just 3%. The organization inspired us all at NewCo, and we were proud to celebrate them with the first NonProfitCo award, given to Catherine at Shift Forum in February 2017.

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