The Cisco Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Grand Challenge aims to recognize and support up-and-coming innovators, entrepreneurs and early-stage startup businesses that are capturing IoT opportunities. The focus of the Challenge is to spearhead an industry-wide initiative to accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies and products that will contribute to the growth and evolution of the Internet of Things.

  Submissions must be entered into one of five categories:

  1. Applications and Application Enablement
  2. Analytics
  3. Management
  4. Networking
  5. Things.

Each submission must map to one of a variety of industries – Education, Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Retail, Smart Cities, Sports and Entertainment or Transportation. The contest will run in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Nineteen ideas are selected for the Semi-Finals
  • Phase 2: Six ideas are selected to proceed to the Finals
  • Phase 3: Three ideas receive grand prizes


  • Awards of US$250,000 in cash prizes will be shared among the three winners, and can be used to jump-start your venture.
  • Cisco will also provide winners with mentoring, training, and access to business expertise from Cisco and other supporting organizations.

Eligibility:Cisco is seeking innovators, entrepreneurs and early-stage startup businesses that can help us transform the industry by re-inventing business processes, operational efficiencies and customer service innovations. We welcome and will accept submissions spanning the product development cycle including:

  • Technological idea
  • Applications
  • Proof of Concept
  • Prototype available
  • Product already in the market

Judging criteria:The Judging Panel will make their selection based on the content of the Entries and using the following criteria:

  • Perceived market opportunity, including factor such as perceived disruption
  • Originality and creativity, including perceived differentiation from competition
  • Applicability to multiple IoT verticals,Business model viability
  • Technical maturity and viability of proposed approach
  • Proposers’ expertise and ability to feasibly create a successful outcome

Application procedure:To participate in the Challenge, register on the contest website before the deadline.

  • Once you have registered, click on “Submit your entry” (link) to begin the submission process. The submission will be viewable by all community members on the Challenge site.
  • Once your entry is submitted, it will go through a quick moderation process.
  • Once the entry is approved, you will be asked to respond to several additional questions by completing an ‘Entry Background’ form. You must complete this form by July 1st in order for your entry to be considered for the semifinals.
Deadline: July 1, 2014

For more information, click here.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”