The World Economic Forum announced its selection of the 100 most promising Technology Pioneers of 2021 – companies that are shaping industries from healthcare to retail and many more.
This year’s cohort includes representation from 26 economies on six continents with a reach far beyond traditional tech hubs like Silicon Valley.
Among the notable selections are Nigeria’s 54gene, a health technology company deriving insights from the world’s most diverse populations to solve some of healthcare’s biggest challenges and Sokowatch, an East African e-commerce company using innovative technology to improve supply chain inefficiencies.
Founded in 2019, the 54Gene generates genetic insights from research cohorts in the world’s most diverse populations to improve the development, availability and efficacy of therapeutics and diagnostics that will prove beneficial to all populations.
With their selection as a Technology Pioneer, CEO of 54gene, Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong will be invited to participate at the World Economic Forum activities, events and discussions throughout the year.
54gene will also contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with global leaders to help address key industry and societal issues.
Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum says:
“We’re excited to welcome 54gene to our 2021 cohort of Technology Pioneers,” says
“54gene and its fellow pioneers are developing technologies that can help society solve some of its most pressing issues. We look forward to their contribution to the World Economic Forum in its commitment to improving the state of the world.”
54gene’s Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong said, “It is truly an honour to be recognised as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum,”
“This is testament to the outstanding collective output of the 54gene team to address global health disparities, and to imagine a world where precision medicine applies equally to all irrespective of one’s geographical location or economic status. There’s a long journey ahead and we look forward to continuing to collaborate and innovate with other mission-driven organizations all over the world.”
On the other hand, Sokowatch is a solutions based e-commerce platform, using innovative tech to improve inefficiencies in the supply chain across East Africa.
Sokowatch which currently has over 22,000 active shops across 9 major cities in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda serves informal retailers that the mass market rely heavily on for essential goods.
With their selection as Technology Pioneer, Global CEO Daniel Yu of Sokowatch will be invited to participate at World Economic Forum activities, events and discussions throughout the year.
Sokowatch will also contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with global leaders to help address key industry and societal issues.
Also speaking on this, Susan Nesbitt said, “We’re excited to welcome Sokowatch to our 2021 cohort of Technology Pioneers.
“Sokowatch and its fellow pioneers are developing technologies that can help society solve some of its most pressing issues. We look forward to their contribution to the World Economic Forum in its commitment to improving the state of the world.”
Sokowatch’s Daniel Yu commented: “It’s a great privilege to be acknowledged as a pioneer by the World Economic Forum.
We are continuously looking at how technology can transform the supply chain for informal retailers and improve access to goods for the mass market.
The informal retail sector makes up 80% of total retail but is extremely fragmented; introducing technology has enabled a simplified and seamless process that is slowly turning a traditionally unprofitable market into a profitable one.”
The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are early to growth-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the use of new technologies and innovation that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.
For the first time in the community’s history, over 30% of the cohort are led by women. The firms also come from regions all around the world, extending their community far beyond Silicon Valley. This year’s cohort includes start-ups from 26 countries, with UAE, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe represented for the first time.
The diversity of these companies extends to their innovations as well. 2021 Tech Pioneer firms are shaping the future by advancing technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, biotechnology and many more. The full list of Technology Pioneers can be found here.
Technology Pioneers have been selected based on the community’s selection criteria, which includes innovation, impact and leadership as well as the company’s relevance with the World Economic Forum’s Platform.
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to techbuild weekly digest for updates
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to blockbuild weekly digest for updates.