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Over the past year, major companies have made some pretty impressive achievements. Even in the midst of continued setbacks related to the pandemic, corporations persevered, pushing society to new heights. In the process, advances in a wide variety of fields took place, paving the way for an exciting and intriguing future. While dozens of top notable companies deserve recognition, some can be considered among the more valuable companies in this regard. Understanding this, the following offers a list of the top eight biggest companies that made a positive difference in 2021. Their contributions definitely made the year not only better but the future brighter as well.

  1. SpaceX

Any list of top notable companies for 2021 must include SpaceX as a consideration. For 2021, SpaceX surpassed its prior record for most space flights ever in a single year. When all is said and done, SpaceX will have had over 30 launches fulfilling a variety of mission goals. In addition to several place Starlink satellites into place, others have had other objectives. These include resupply missions to the International Space Station and participation in NASA’s DART Program. The latter is an asteroid redirection test system that hopes to protect the planet from asteroids entering the Earth’s orbit. All of these achievements are quite amazing and hint of much more to come.

  1. Mind Medicine, Inc.

This year has been huge for psychedelic therapies as increasing evidence shows the tremendous benefits these drugs offer. The NIH awarded its first grant for psilocybin research in over 50 years. Likewise, the state of Oregon became the first state to approve therapeutic use of psychedelics. But in terms of top notable companies in this field, Mind Medicine Inc. deserves recognition as well. Mind Medicine is among the most valuable companies pursuing a wide variety of psychedelic compounds and formulations. They are also developing digital therapeutics to augment their effects. Their broad vision is impressive, which is why they are now trading on the U.S., Canadian and Germany stock exchanges. (Tap into Bold’s series of stories on the psilocybin industry–start here!)

  1. PayPal

In the fintech world, PayPal has become among the most valuable companies this past year. It is now valuated at over $216 billion and plans to continue to grow. This year, PayPal expanded its cryptocurrency offerings into the UK, which signals their belief that digital coin is a keeper. Those in the UK can now buy, hold, and sell using cryptocurrency through PayPal within the limits the company has set. PayPal is also jockeying for position among top notable companies wishing to develop a super app in the U.S. Don’t be surprised if the company makes some major moves in this regard in the coming months.

  1. Tesla

Back in 2013, Tesla Motors produced only 20,000 electric vehicles. In 2021, however, Tesla will surpass a major milestone with over a million cars in annual run rate. This alone makes tesla among the most valuable companies for 2021. But in addition, Tesla has made other great strides as one of the top notable companies of the year. It introduced its five-passenger Model S luxury sedan. It also ramped up its Shanghai Gigafactory, which now out-produces the one in Fremont, California. And of course, it still sales the vast majority of electric cars in the world and nation. These are impressive achievements that highlight the continued role Tesla will play in EV advances in the coming years.

  1. Frontier Communications

Recently, the U.S. passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that included $65 billion in broadband development funding. The need to expand high-speed Internet services to all of the country was exposed during the pandemic. But Frontier Communications, one of the top notable companies in communications,  had already recognized this need. Specifically, it had launched its Build Gigabit America Program with plans to add 10 million new homes to broadband by 2028. It also had partnered with AT&T to ensure expanded broadband coverage to 25 total states. Now, Frontier will have access to infrastructure bill funding, which will expedite the process. Thus, it too is considered among the most valuable companies of the year.

  1. Facebook/Meta

Given the impact that Facebook has had globally over time, it’s not surprising it is included among the most valuable companies. But this past year, Facebook took an additional step forward, changing its name to Meta. As its new name reflects, Meta plans to invest heavily in a combined virtual-reality universe known as Metaverse. Mark Zuckerberg sees tremendous potential in this that not only includes virtual exchange systems but virtual property ownership as well. Of course, Meta is one of several top notable companies with such a vision. But it is the first to go “all-in” on its pursuit. How this all turns out is open for discussion, but it’s clear Meta will be a key player moving forward. (Check out Bold’s deep dive into the metaverse here.)

  1. Joby Aviation

While space travel and electric cars stole many headlines this year, other transportation achievements should also be noted. Slowly but surely, it now appears that air taxis will soon be available to the public in the coming years. And a big part of these developments can be attributed to one of the top notable companies in aviation, Joby Aviation. This year, the company moved one step closer to receiving FAA approval for its Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft. Joby’s drone-like air taxi is capable of carrying four passengers and can travel up to 154 miles at a time. By 2024, air taxi offerings are expected to hit the market. And Joby Aviation will be among the most valuable companies when it does.

  1. Apple

Apple is clearly one of the most valuable companies of all time. But in 2021, the company quietly introduced something that could be quite revolutionary for the future. As part of Apple’s iOS 15, users will now have the chance to create their own digital IDs. These digital IDs, which require a bit more authentication than a debit or credit card, could eventually replace physical ones. Currently, only the TSA in airports are honoring Apple digital IDs in Georgia and Arizona. But seven other states are in the process of approving them as well for TSA purposes. While privacy and cybersecurity issues are concerns, this looks to be the way of the future. Certainly, Apple is among the top notable companies leading us into a digital future.


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