1 pathfinder, frontiersman, frontierswoman, trail-blazer, explorer, colonist, (early) settler; ground-breaker, forerunner, precursor, predecessor, innovator, leader, trend-setter, pacemaker, pace-setter:
The pioneers who explored and settled the American west were daring men and women. Marconi was a pioneer in the development of radio.
2 create, originate, invent, initiate, take the first step, introduce, institute, actuate, trigger, set off, inaugurate, start, begin, launch, establish, found, set up, develop, lay the groundwork or foundation, set or put in motion, take the lead, lead or show the way, blaze the trail, be a prime mover, open up, Colloq kick off, get the ball rolling:
Our company has pioneered systems for automatic typesetting.