Billion-dollar FinTech startup Transferwise and Mike Lynch's cybersecurity startup Darktrace are two of the high-profile UK companies selected by a panel of judges identifying the startups which will have a significant impact on business and society.
Sheffield cleantech company Carbon Clean Solutions and Tokamak Energy which was spun out from Oxfordshire's Culham Laboratory have also been chosen by a panel which includes Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, partners from VC firms Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia, as well as representatives from companies such as BT, WPP, Deloitte and KPMG, and academics.
"Today’s Technology Pioneers want to have their cake and eat it, too. Knowing the world has pressing challenges, they are following both their entrepreneurial passions and fulfilling their civic roles at the same time," said the WEF's head of Technology Pioneers head Fulvia Montresor.
"TransferWise and Darktrace are part of a group of entrepreneurs who are more aware of the crucial challenges of the world around them, and who are determined to do their part to solve those challenges with their company,” he added, "We are very glad to see a new British innovation recognized in this selection.”
This year, 49 companies in three key areas - IT, life sciences and health, and energy, environment and infrastructure - made the cut, with the UK producing more pioneering tech companies than any other, behind the US.
Startups across the pond continued their tech domination with 35 companies making the grade and accounting for more than a third of this year's group, while another 8 countries have produced one or two companies recognised by the WEF.
Startups were chosen on five factors: innovation, potential impact, having working prototypes or be in the market, viability and leadership.
The chosen ones will now attend the World Economic Forum summer gathering as well as the annual Davos convention in January.