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 economies, with UAE, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe represented for the first time.
To be selected as a Technology Pioneer, a company must pioneer new technologies and innovations, ranging from cell-based seafood protein to quantum-based cybersecurity, digitization of water rights, and satellite imaging to measure carbon captured in forests. In addition, they must demonstrate the community’s selection criteria, which includes innovation, impact and leadership, as well as the company’s relevance with the World Economic Forum’s Platforms.
The full roster of African winners includes Cambridge Industries (Ethiopia), FlexFin Tx (Zimbabwe), Kuda (Nigeria), Moringa School (Kenya), mPharma (Ghana), Sokowatch (Kenya), 54Gene (Nigeria), and Gro Intelligence (Kenya).
With their selection as Technology Pioneer, these startups will be invited to participate at World Economic Forum activities, events and discussions throughout the year. They will also contribute to Forum initiatives over the next two years, working with global leaders to help address key industry and societal issues.
“We’re excited to welcome Sokowatch to our 2021 cohort of Technology Pioneers,” says Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community, World Economic Forum. “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.”
“It’s a great privilege to be acknowledged as a pioneer by the World Economic Forum”, said Sokowatch’s Daniel Yu. “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.”
“It is truly an honor to be recognized as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum,” said 54gene’s Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong. “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.”
This article was written by Victor Oluwole and originally published in Business Insider Africa on June 15, 2021. The original heading was changed and adapted for publication in Downtown Africa. You can start earning money by becoming our Independent Reporter or Contributor. Contact us at IR@downtownafrica.com
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