Technology Pioneers Community - FAQ

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

The World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneers community recognizes early-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies, and are set to have a significant impact on business and society.

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

As a Technology Pioneer, your company will have the opportunity to engage actively in discussions with other Technology Pioneers, industry leaders and experts, and you will be encouraged to learn from each other in a search for innovative solutions to global issues. Technology Pioneers will have an opportunity to apply to participate in World Economic Forum activities – including the Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, and the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China – where they will interact with top executives, scientists, academics, government leaders, NGOs and other Forum Members and constituents, to shed light on how technologies help to find new vaccines, create sustainable solutions for growing energy requirements and enhance web/IT-based platforms, for example. Please note that being a Technology Pioneers does not necessarily entail an invitation to the Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. As part of the network, Technology Pioneers attract worldwide media attention.

3. How are Technology Pioneers selected?

A selection committee evaluates all candidates against the community’s selection criteria to make a recommendation to the World Economic Forum.

4. What are the 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.
  • Potential impact: The company must have the potential to make a substantial long-term impact on business and society.
  • Working prototype: The company must have a working prototype or a product on the market for digital and product companies, or be in stage two or beyond for applicable life science companies.
  • Viability: The company should have well-formulated plans for developments and goals.
  • Leadership: The company must have visionary leadership with the capabilities to drive the company towards success.
  • Revenue: We select pre-revenue companies and companies whose revenues are below $500 million.
  • Independent company: The company must not be a subsidiary or a joint venture. The company must also not be a Member of the World Economic Forum.

5. Who is in the selection committee?

A crucial part of the selection process is the selection committee, which is an external group of technology and innovation experts, academics, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who evaluate all candidates against the community’s criteria before making its recommendation to the World Economic Forum. Selection committee members are selected based on their extensive experience in, and knowledge of, various technology sectors.

6. What information will be made public?

All information provided by candidates will remain confidential and will be used by the Selection Committee for the sole purpose of evaluating the potential of companies to become Technology Pioneers of the World Economic Forum. All Selection Committee members will be asked to maintain confidentiality of information and disclose any conflicts of interest when evaluating candidates.


7. In which industries are Technology Pioneers operating?

Technology Pioneers come from a wide range of sectors, such as life sciences and health, energy and environment, and information technologies and new media. We explicitly encourage companies from all sectors and industries to apply.

8. In which regions are you looking for Technology Pioneers?

We are looking for Technology Pioneers from around the world.

9. How many Technology Pioneers are selected per year?

We select a group of about 30 Technology Pioneers every year. The selected candidates will be awarded at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China.

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

Please fill in the application form here before the application deadline.

11. What is the deadline to apply?

For this year’s process all applications that are received latest by 24 February 2018, 23.59 CET, will be considered. All applications received after that date will be considered for next year.

12. When are Technology Pioneers announced?

Technology Pioneers will be announced in June.

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

The World Economic Forum is not charging applicants at any stage of the selection process. Furthermore, being selected as a Technology Pioneer does not entail a membership fee.

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

Once selected, Technology Pioneers stay active for two years in the community with various opportunities to interact with other members.

15. Examples of selected Technology Pioneers

SmartThings (2015), BlaBlaCar (2015), Airbnb (2014), Cyberdyne (2014), Kebony (2014), MC10 (2013), Azuri Technologies (2013), Tobii Technology (2013), Dropbox (2012), Kickstarter (2012), 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).

Technology Pioneers 2016 can be found here.

16. How can I contact the Technology Pioneers team?

Technology Pioneers community, World Economic Forum

Tel: +41 22 869 1212
Email: tech.pioneers@weforum.org