Cisco launches I-Prize contest

By : |October 30, 2007 0

BANGALORE: In a bid to encourage creativity and innovation, Cisco today announced the I-Prize contest open to entrepreneurs and innovators around the world.

“Web 2.0 technology has brought in mass collaboration. Creativity and innovation is booming because of mass collaboration. We are investing in interesting ideas. I-Prize contest will stimulate entrepreneurs to come out with interesting ideas,” said Martin DeBeer, senior vice president, Cisco Emerging Technologies Group, here today through Telepresence.

The winning team may have the opportunity to join Cisco as founders of a new emerging technology business unit. Depending upon the value of the idea, Cisco may invest up to $10 million over three years to fund the new business unit.

“The main idea is to draw wisdom of the crowd and get best ideas from people and I-Prize will maintain open source model,” informed DeBeer.

The contest is for three months and the entries will be evaluated in much the same way that Cisco assesses new internal business ideas for its Emerging Technologies Group. Judges will consider both the technology innovation as well as the business opportunity behind the idea. Ideas should have the potential to bring in at least $1billion revenue to Cisco.

In later rounds contestants will be provided with Cisco technologies and will also have the opportunity to use Telepresence meeting rooms in Cisco locations around the world.

Talking about the new technology Telepresence that was demonstrated today, DeBeer said, “Going forward expect the presence of Telepresence at home at affordable price in bringing families together. It can be used in education as well.”

“As price points are going down and bandwidth increasing, we can virtually put people in a room in a meeting. Cannot shake hands but virtual presence is there,” he added.

Answering a query on globalization, Wim Elfrink, chief globalization officer of Cisco, said that earlier the important differentiator in outsourcing in globalization is cost and labor arbitrage. But now growth and innovation forms the important component of globalization. We are looking at the ways and means of how we can use the technology in rural areas and achieve urbanization of 200 million people in India, he informed.

Speaking about the company’s future, John Chambers, CEO, Cisco, said that the question is how fast we can move in the future. “For this we need education, infrastructure, supportive government and innovation. Combination of these is needed to move forward.”

Cisco also announced the launch of Harvest of Hope, Feed a Child Program, as part of its social responsibility activity to improve the socio-economic conditions of the disadvantaged group in India. Cisco has partnered with an NGO Akshaya Patra for this program to provide food to 5000 children this year.

Cisco will raise funds for the program from its employees.

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