Technology Pioneers Community - FAQ

1. What is the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers community?

The Technology Pioneers is a global community of start-up and growth-stage companies with the potential to significantly impact business and society through the design, development and deployment of new technologies. The community launched in 2000.

2. What is the objective of the Technology Pioneers community?

The programme aims to give next generation innovators a voice in solving global issues and enables them to contribute their ideas in multi-stakeholder meetings. Technology Pioneers contribute to the exploration of future trends, analyses how new technologies transform business models, and assessment of implications for individuals, industry, governments and civil society.

3. What is the benefit of being a Technology Pioneer?

Being a Technology Pioneer means:

– Being part of a community of innovators and entrepreneurs – learning from each other and working together to find innovative solutions to global issues

– Interacting with industry leaders, scientists, academics and governments to explore how emerging technologies are impacting the world

– Participating in Forum meetings*, projects, System Initiatives and Global Future Councils.

– Gaining visibility through the Forum’s wide coverage in traditional and social media

*Technology Pioneers are not automatically invited to the Annual Meeting in Davos

4. How are Technology Pioneers selected?

An external selection committee comprising technology and innovation experts, academics, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs evaluate candidates against the selection criteria before making recommendations to the World Economic Forum. Selection committee members are experts in various technology sectors.

5. What are the Technology Pioneer selection criteria?

Potential Technology Pioneers are evaluated against the following criteria:

Innovation: The company must be truly innovative in the development of a new technology or the novel application of existing technology. The innovation or commercialization should be recent and considered high tech. Digital and product companies must have a working prototype or a product on the market, while applicable life science companies must be in stage two or beyond.

Impact: The company must have the potential to make substantial long-term impact on business and society. It should have well-formulated development plans and goals.

Leadership: The company must have visionary leadership with the ability to drive the company to success.

Additional qualifications: The company must have annual revenue of less than $500 million, and it must be independent – not a subsidiary or joint venture.

5. What information about Technology Pioneer community members is publically-available?

Business information provided by candidates remains confidential and is used by the selection committee for the sole purpose of evaluating companies’ potential to become Technology Pioneers. Selection Committee members are required to respect the confidentiality of applicants’ information.

6. Which industries do Technology Pioneers operate in?

Technology Pioneers come from a wide range of sectors, such as life sciences, health, energy, environment, information technologies and new media. Companies from all sectors and industries are encouraged to apply.

7. How many Technology Pioneers are selected per year?

About 30 Technology Pioneers are selected each year.

8. How can I apply for the Technology Pioneers community?

Application forms are available on the World Economic Forum website during the application period – 1 September 2017 to 26 January 2018.

9. What is the deadline to apply?

The deadline for applications for the next cohort of Technology Pioneers is 26 January 2018, 23.59h CET. All applications received after that date will be considered for the following year.

10. When are Technology Pioneers announced?

Technology Pioneers will be notified in April, publicly announced in June, and invited to the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China, which will take place soon after the public announcement.

11. Is there any fee associated with a Technology Pioneers application?


The World Economic Forum does not charge applicants at any stage of the selection process. Technology Pioneer community membership does not entail a membership fee.

12. How long do Technology Pioneers stay in the community?

Technology Pioneers remain part of the community for two years, with various opportunities to interact with other members.

13. Examples of Technology Pioneers

nuTonomy (2017), KONUX (2017), Blockchain (2016), Ginkgo Bioworks (2016), SmartThings (2015), BlaBlaCar (2015), Airbnb (2014), Kebony (2014), MC10 (2013), Azuri Technologies (2013), Dropbox (2012), Kickstarter (2012), Atlassian (2011), Solazyme (2011), Bloom Energy (2010), Twitter (2010), Proteus Digital Health (2009), Recycle Bank (2009), ANECOVA (2008), SkySails (2008), Mozilla Corporations (2007), MBA Polymers (2006) and Google (2002).

The Technology Pioneers 2017 were announced on 14 June 2017, and can be found here.

14. How can I contact the Technology Pioneers team?

Email: tech.pioneers@weforum.org