Technology Pioneers 2013: World Economic Forum Names The Year's 23 Most Innovative Startups

What do Kickstarter, Dropbox, Foursquare and Spotify all have in common? Before becoming household names, each was featured on the prestigious Technology Pioneers list, sponsored by the World Economic Forum.

Since 2000, nearly 500 startups have been annually selected because of their industry-changing potential or the effect they could have on societies and economies around the globe. According to the WEF website, the participating companies are judged on the following criteria: "innovation, potential impact, growth and sustainability, and proof of concept and leadership."

Today, a new set of 23 innovative companies were selected for the Technology Pioneers 2013 list. These startups are expected to drastically alter their particular fields over the next year and have been chosen because of their "promise of significantly impacting the way business and society operate," per the WEF website. A WEF press release stated the newest inductees will also be formally recognized on September 11 - 13, during the Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China.

This year's crop of startups include a company developing thermal batteries, several solar energy initiatives, and one firm responsible for a sensor that lets users move their hands to interact with technology instead of reaching for a remote control. Check out the slideshow below to see all the honorees from the Technology Pioneers of 2013 list. Have you heard of some of these companies? Do you already use any of these services? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. For a look at previous Tech Pioneers, have a look at the WEC's list from last year.

The 23 Most Innovative Startups Of 2013