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WEF 2014: Start-ups tackle robotics, healthcare

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The annual World Economic Forum begins today in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. While some of the world’s top business leaders and politicians will gather to discuss burning socio-economic matters under the banner The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business, the event does have a technological angle as well.

The annual World Economic Forum starts today in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland (image: WEF)
The annual World Economic Forum starts today in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland (image: WEF)

Each year, The World Economic Forum selects a number of tech start-ups from across the world as part of their Technology Pioneers program, which consists of 36 of the world’s most innovative, up-and-comming technology companies. According to WEF, these ventures are being recognized for their potential to transform the future of business and society.

The Technology Pioneers for 2014 have a strong focus on cybernetics, medical applications or robotics and healthcare in general, while the remainder focus on renewable energy.

Those specializing in medical advances include Agios Pharmaceuticals, BIND Therapeutics, Bug Agentes Biologicos, bluebird bio, Cyberdyne, Foundation Medicine, Natera, Rethink Robotics, Second Sight Medical Products, Selecta Biosciences and SynTouch.

Other Technology Pioneers at this year’s event include Adtelligence, Advantix Systems, Airbnb, Alphabet Energy, AppNexus, Codecademy, Coursera, Data4,, D-Rev: Design Revolution , EcoNation, GitHub, Jana, Kaggle, Kebony, Koemei, Lenddo, LiveU, Nest Labs, Oasys Water, OMC Power, SunPartner, TruTag Technologies, Viki and Witricity Corporation.

“The impact of technology continues to increase in all aspects of society,” says David Aikman, Managing Director, Head of New Champions at the World Economic Forum. “The diversity of the innovative thinking and possible solutions they offer are why leaders from all sectors of society are interested in interacting with the Technology Pioneers.”

Previous Technology Pioneers include Google (2001), Mozilla Corporation (2007), Wikimedia (2008), Twitter (2010), Dropbox (2012), SoundCloud (2013), and Kickstarter (2012).

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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