Davos: Opening Night

The World Economic Forum in Davos  hosted an awards dinner on January 27 for the 39 tech pioneers in the class of 2009, who hail from everywhere from China to Chile. ( I was one of the judges).  David Kirkpatrick, a veteran tech journalist at Fortune Magazine moderated at the awards ceremony, telling the pioneers that good companies can still thrive in a downturn. And how.

One of the pioneers, Swiss biotech firm AC Immune, had an additional reason to celebrate at the dinner: the company announced on January 26 that it raised CHF40 million (US$35.2 million) in a Series C round . The money will fund the company’s operations out to 2013 and enable it to progress its pipeline of clinical and preclinical therapies and diagnostics for Alzheimer’s disease.

The dinner was also attended by tech pioneers from previous years, including 23andme co-founder Linda Avey and Mitchell Baker, chairperson of the Mozilla Foundation I hitched a ride in a car with Mitchell and her husband Casey Dunn from the DLD conference in Munich to Davos earlier on Tuesday.

After the tech pioneers dinner many in the crowd trudged through the snowy streets to the other side of town where Israeli Internet guru Yossi Vardi was hosting a private digital nightcap. The crowd included TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington, Buzzmachine’s Jeff Jarvis, Mark Read, WPP’s head of strategy and John Rossant, executive chairman of Publicis Live. Yossi asked the crowd to help Informilo.  I am very grateful to him for all of his support.

Today is the real start of the forum. I plan to blog every day of the annual event, which finishes on Sunday, February 1. Stay tuned.

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