The FINANCIAL — Twenty businesses from across the UK have been shortlisted for the Cisco BIG Awards today, as Cisco completes the first stage of its hunt to find Britain's most inspiring and innovative start-ups and SMEs.
The Awards, which are running in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase, Bird & Bird, DNX and Octopus Communications, will take place annually throughout Cisco's British Innovation Gateway (BIG) initiative – a significant five-year investment of cash, technology and human resources – and aims to develop Britain's innovation eco-system and create an environment in which start-up digital businesses and their ideas can flourish.
In its inaugural year, the Cisco BIG Awards is celebrating shining examples of the UK's most enterprising small businesses. The categories, which include BIG Data, Collaboration, Future Cities, Internet of Things and Mobility, each represent some of the most relevant technology challenges and mega trends facing business today. A dedicated judging panel from Cisco worked through the 300 entries, measuring each one against a strict criterion, to shortlist 20 semi-finalists. From this 20, six finalists will be chosen to present their business plans live to a judging panel before the winner is chosen.
According to Cisco Systems, the overall winner will receive a total prize package of approximately $200k, made up of $100k cash, 12 months of mentoring from Cisco and a 12- month support package covering PR, marketing and legal services. Runners-up and semi-finalists will also receive cash and technology prizes to support and accelerate the development of their brands and businesses.