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SciFutures is a different kind of startup.  They are literally a company of creatives, and writers that create short or long stories about possible futures to help companies guide their product development and research direction.  They have over 100+ professional science fiction authors they work with to help companies envision the future 10-15 years from now.  Authors are given a short brief and are usually paid several hundred dollars per story.  Basically corporate consulting through science fiction narratives as science fiction is becoming reality faster and faster.

The team is based in Los Angeles, California.

Why I like Them

This is one of the most innovative business models I've heard of this year.  While it might not be the most scalable, talk about an innovative service offering.  And they seem to have achieved massive traction in only a few years with a number of large corporate customers including Visa, Pepsi, Samsung, Ford, and NATO.  The military especially is in the business of worst case scenario planning and SciFutures has a strong customer base from them alone.  Companies not only use the service to understand possible futures but to grasp uses and possibilities with emerging technologies.  There are rumors that products and services dreamed up in SciFutures stories are already starting to hit the market.

SciFutures is very much a specialized, niche business that won't take over the business world anytime soon, but it is a damn cool concept and service offering.

Disclosure:  All information is from publicly available sources, I have not had any contact with a member of the company or its investors.