MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — November 29, 2007 – 23andMe Inc., a privately-held personal genetics company, announced today that it has been selected as a 2008 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. The 2008 Technology Pioneers were nominated by the world’s leading technology experts, including venture capitalists, technology companies, academics and media.
The final selection from 273 nominees was made by a panel of leading technology experts appointed by the World Economic Forum. Technology Pioneers 2008 are invited to participate in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008 that will be held in Davos, Switzerland, from 23-27 January and in the Annual Meeting of the New Champions that will be held in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China from 25-27 September 2008. 23andMe is dedicated to helping individuals understand their own genetic information through DNA analysis technologies and web-based interactive tools. The company’s Personal Genome Service enables individuals to gain deeper insights into their ancestry and inherited traits. Founded by Linda Avey and Anne Wojcicki in 2006, the Company is advised by a group of renowned experts in the fields of human genetics, bioinformatics and computer science.
Linda Avey, co-founder of 23andMe, said, “23andMe was founded on the principle that the combined potential of personal genetic information and web-based interactive tools can empower individuals to access and understand their own genetic information while also holding the potential of accelerating research in the field of genetics.”
Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, continued: “All of us at 23andMe are proud to be recognized by the World Economic Forum, and we look forward to discussing this new era of personalized genetics, and the promise it holds for a global society, with the members of the Forum.”
Technology Pioneers are companies that have been identified as developing and applying highly transformational and innovative technologies in the areas of energy, biotechnology and health, and information technology. To be selected as a Technology Pioneer, a company must be involved in the development of life-changing technology innovation and have the potential for long-term impact on business and society. In addition, it must demonstrate visionary leadership, show all the signs of being a long-standing market leader – and its technology must be proven. Previous Technology Pioneers have included Business Objects, Cambridge Silicon Radio, Corel Corporation, Encore Software, Google, Mozilla Corporation and Napster.
The companies’ products and services include identity management on the Internet, understanding of individuals’ genetic information, robotic radiosurgery, pollution control materials, low-cost remote diagnosis solutions, virtual interface technologies, wiki-based projects and next-generation business intelligence solutions. Twenty-three of the Technology Pioneers 2008 are US-based companies. Israel and the United Kingdom each boast three; Sweden and Switzerland two each; Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands and Russia, one each. Technology Pioneers are nominated in three main categories: Energy/Environment, Biotechnology/Health and Information Technology. The entire list of Technology Pioneers and interviews with the CEOs of the selected companies can be found here: http://www.weforum.org/techpioneers/2008.
“This year the World Economic Forum received a record number of applications from companies around the world to become a Technology Pioneer. From a highly competitive field, we are extremely pleased to have a community that is using innovation and technology to dramatically affect the way society and business operate and doing so in a markedly collaborative manner. We are excited to welcome the Technology Pioneers class of 2008 to the larger community of the World Economic Forum, and we are looking forward to the fruits that their collaboration will bring,” said Peter Torreele, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum. The selection criteria include:
- Innovation. The company’s technology must be truly innovative. A new version or repackaging of an already well-accepted technological solution does not qualify as an innovation. The innovation should be recent – not more than two years old. The company should invest significantly in R&D.
- Potential Impact. The company’s technology must have the potential to have a substantial long-term impact on business and society in the future.
- Growth and Sustainability. The company should have all the signs of being a long-term market leader and should have well-formulated plans for future development and growth.
- Proof of Concept. The company must have a product on the market or have proven practical applications of the technology. Companies in “stealth” mode and companies with untested ideas or models will not qualify.
- Leadership. The company must have visionary leadership that plays a critical role in driving the company towards reaching its goals.
- Status. The company must not currently be a Member of the World Economic Forum. This criterion applies to the parent company – thus wholly-owned subsidiaries of large firms are not eligible.
- Go to http://www.weforum.org/techpioneers/2008 for the entire list of Technology Pioneers and interviews with the CEOs of the selected companies. For more specific information, please e-mail:[email protected].
- Download print-quality high resolution photographs of the CEOs of the selected companies at: http://www.pbase.com/forumweb/techpioneers2008
- Nominate a company to be a Technology Pioneer 2009 at: http://www.weforum.org/pdf/techpioneers/nomination_form_2008.pdf. Deadline for submissions is May 2008.
23andMe, Inc. is the leading consumer genetics and research company. Founded in 2006, the mission of the company is to help people access, understand, and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has millions of customers worldwide, with more than 80 percent of customers consented to participate in research. 23andMe, Inc. is located in Sunnyvale, CA. More information is available at www.23andMe.com.