Neon Awarded as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Neon announced that it has been selected as a 2016 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, a group of the 49 most innovative global companies as determined by the World Economic Forum. Neon, based in San Francisco, California, filters and surfaces compelling images at scale using technology built on a unique combination of neuroscience and machine learning.

“It is an incredible honor for Neon to be selected by the World Economic Forum for this prestigious award,” said Sophie Lebrecht, PhD, CEO of Neon. “Intelligent image management is a crucial need for global businesses, and we are pleased that our unique approach to automating image selection is gaining recognition.”

Neon was founded in 2012 to provide businesses with a way to automate image selection at scale. Neon’s proprietary technology, developed in research labs at Carnegie Mellon University and Brown University, uses neuroscience and machine learning to understand how humans see images, and surfaces images that emotionally resonate with viewers. Neon’s products are real-time optimization tools for images and video, proven to increase engagement by 16-34%.

“As an early and continuing supporter of Neon, I am proud to see their groundbreaking technology recognized on a global level,” said Bill Ericson, General Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures and Neon investor and board member. “Neon makes it possible for businesses to bring intelligent automation to their visual content at scale. The deep science, technology, and experience they bring to this problem truly sets them apart.” Neon joins the group of 7 companies in Ericson’s portfolio that have been recognized by this award since the award was established in 2000.

This year’s Technology Pioneers were selected from among hundreds of applicants by a selection committee of 68 academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate executives. Notable members of the committee include Arianna Huffington (founder, Huffington Post) and Henry Blodget (editor-in-chief, Business Insider). The committee based its decisions on criteria including innovation, potential impact, working prototype, viability and leadership.

Fulvia Montresor, Head of Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum, said, “Neon is 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.”

“Companies with a solid science and technical foundation like Neon are poised to make a large-scale and lasting commercial impact. It is rewarding to see Neon’s innovation and potential for global change recognized by the World Economic Forum,” said Michael J. Tarr, Neon co-founder and head of Carnegie Mellon’s Psychology Department.

Past recipients include AirBnB (2014), Nest (2014), Dropbox (2011), Twitter (2010), and Google (2001). More information on past winners can be found here.

For more information regarding this press release, please contact Nicole Halmi, Communications Lead, Neon, at or 415-355-4249 or Peter Vanham, Media Lead, Technology Pioneers, at, or +41 79 620 91 29.

About Neon

Neon, a startup based in San Francisco, is the automated image selection platform for monetizing digital content. Neon’s proprietary scientific solution draws from the underlying principles of perception and human cognition known to surface images that generate engagement and spark emotional response. Neon increases revenue for leading online news, sports, entertainment media publishers, advertisers and marketers. For more information, please visit:

Source: Neon Awarded as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum

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