Are you building an industry-disrupting or innovative digital solution leveraging the Internet of Things?

With less than 1% of things in the physical world connected to the Internet, there is an incredible opportunity to connect the unconnected, creating vast opportunities to transform businesses and industries by re-inventing business processes, operational efficiency and customer service innovations.

The Cisco Innovation Grand Challenge 2015  will recognize startups, entrepreneurs and developers around the world with the most breakthrough digital technologies, products or business models across a variety of categories.

The competition is looking to recognize the best ventures in the following categories:


In the IoT, the things (devices, sensors, actuators, and end-systems) rely on an infrastructure that provides secure network connectivity, storage and services that enable connected applications. This infrastructure needs to be adaptive and programmable and hide the complexity of the various wired and wireless connectivity and protocol options, while also meeting the needs of a diverse set of devices and applications.

Middleware, Platform & Frameworks

While a comprehensive landscape of IoT software is still emerging, it is already evident that a broad ecosystem of technology partners with industry-specific expertise is brewing. Application-enabling platforms with a rich set of open APIs, integrated development/test/deployment environments, common frameworks for persistence/workflow/event management, etc. will provide highly flexible solution creation capabilities across partners, integrators and other 3rd party developers.

Data analytics & Applications 

One of the biggest drivers in the IoT value chain is data and insights resulting from connecting the unconnected. Applications that provide domain-specific predictive observations, events/alerts, end-to-end optimizations, analytics, etc. could be a game changer for the IoT software scene. Machine learning algorithms and Augmented/Virtual Reality applications capable of running in resource-constrained IoT environments could trigger exponential revenue growth.


The convergence of physical and cyber-security solutions that address the full attack continuum – before, during, and after an attack – is essential for IoT. Cloud-based threat protection, cyber intelligence, response automation, network and perimeter security, user- and group-based identity services, video analytics, secure physical access – are some example elements of such systems.

Fog Computing 

Fog computing extends the cloud paradigm to the edge, closer to end devices (sensors, machines, cars, etc.) Fog addresses unique challenges within the IoE vision, such as increased data volumes from end devices, low latency responses, security, rapid mobility, and autonomy, which arise from increased connectivity of people, processes, data and things.

This global competition will appraise startups, entrepreneurs and developers around the world with the most breakthrough technologies, products or business models leveraging IoT across a variety of categories.

For this year’s Challenge, participants are asked to come up with new ideas on how technologies leveraging the Internet of Things can improve manufacturing, smart cities, and energy/utilities.

The entries will be judged based on a combination of the following factors:

  • Customer value
  • Market opportunity, including potential for growth
  • Novelty, including perceived differentiation from competition
  • Fit with Cisco and/or partners business strategy
  • Likelihood of long-term success.


1st Place -$150,000
2nd Place – $75,000
3rd Place – $25,000

Interested? Get started now or visit the FAQ page to learn more.

Opportunity summary
CISCO Innovation Grand Challenge 2015
Deadline: September 7, 2015
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