London: Booking.com has named Seema Khinda Johnson, co-founder of blockchain-powered payments and ID platform Nuggets, as Entrepreneur of the Year in its annual Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards.
Now in its third year, the Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards recognise women across the global technology scene who are trailblazing new paths, creating innovative products and experiences and positively impacting communities by inspiring future generations.
The finalists were judged by a 14-strong panel of leading figures from the global technology industry, entrepreneurs, influential founders and leaders in diversity and inclusion, including Facebook, Microsoft, SkyScanner as well as Booking.com chairwoman Gillian Tans.
The 45 finalists include women in tech across 20 countries who have made remarkable achievements in sectors including healthcare, education, retail, agriculture, fraud prevention, finance and gaming.
Khinda Johnson was selected from a group of nearly 850 candidates from around the world for her efforts with Nuggets in seeking to redefine online security and privacy through biometrics.
Due to the current lockdown, the awards ceremony was not able to take place, but all winners received a personal call from Tans to congratulate them. The award was announced online at the Tech Playmaker Awards website and via global release on Booking.com news room.
Tans said: “With nearly 850 nominations received this year, selecting 45 finalists and whittling that down to ten winners and one Technology Playmaker of the Year has certainly been a challenging, but inspiring process for the judging panel. That reflects not only the high quality of entries we’ve seen, but also the scale of impact and influence that women are having in the global tech industry.
“While we are unable to celebrate the winners in person this year as we had planned in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, at this time of such great global uncertainty, it remains more important than ever to recognise those who are making such lasting and impactful contributions in technology, as well as inspiring each other,” she added.
Nuggets is a blockchain-powered platform which aims to offer a single biometric tool for login, payment and identity verification, without sharing personal data. The platform says it offers the potential to completely eliminate data breaches and make identity and credit card fraud a thing of the past.
Khinda Johnson said: “It’s such an unexpected honour to have won this category at the Booking.com Technology Playmaker Awards. These awards really help shine a light on women making a difference and being recognised for their contribution to the technology sector, especially those who are working behind the scenes, innovating and contributing to the success of their organisations.
“I’m delighted to have been selected,” she added.
Tans said: “We launched the awards three years ago as a platform for women to be celebrated for the important and far-reaching work they do across the tech industry every day. Today, the under-representation and under-recognition of women in tech remains as prominent as it was then, but I am pleased to see that gender diversity is increasingly becoming a key part of business discourse and the global agenda.
“At Booking.com, we look beyond just numbers to focus equally on inclusivity and belonging, and ensure that technology is an industry that is open and welcoming to all,” she added.
Each winner received a prize of €5,000, while the overall winner received an additional prize of €10,000.