The results are in: After reading, discussing and scoring over 1100 new business ideas, we have selected 32 teams as Cisco I-Prize semi-finalists. Congratulations to the teams that have been selected. The Cisco team is very excited to be working with you on your semi-final presentations.To all of you who participated in the Cisco I-Prize, THANK YOU! Your ideas, passion, collaboration and time are greatly appreciated. Selecting the semi-finalists was difficult work due to the quality of the innovative thinking and collaboration. In the end, we tried to stay true to the criteria spelled out in the contest overview and in subsequent blog postings. The Cisco I-Prize site will continue to be open should you choose to continue collaborating with fellow innovators. Once the Cisco I-Prize competition is finished and we have time to assess everything, we will announce what will come next.Team members from the Semi-finalists are a very diverse group:ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® Competitors from 13 Countries on 5 ContinentsÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® 20% of the teams are multi-countryÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® Teams ranging in size from 1 to 9 peopleÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® Competitors ages were evenly distributed between people in their 20s, 30s and 40s or higherFor those of you curious about the ideas that were selected:ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® Ideas fell into a broad range of categories: Comms Infrastructure, Connected Home, E-Learning, Mobility, Security, Services, Emerging Countries, Unified Communications, Video, Virtualization and Web 2.0ÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® When an idea was submitted had little bearing. Ideas were evenly distributed across the competition time frameÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® Some ideas had lots of information, some had relatively little (at least publicly viewable) but some contributors who appeared to publish little did supply us with private information to help guide our selectionÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® Comments, votes and private information made the most difference when we were evaluating very similar ideasÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® There were some great business ideas, but not so great for Cisco. We encourage those that believe passionately in their idea to continue working on themÃƒÂ¯Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â® There were a few very good ideas that we have already been working onTeams will now start work on their Semi-final presentations and have been supplied with access to a variety of Cisco collaboration technologies. Who will make the Finals? Stay tuned, it should be a very interesting month!
The first phase of our I-Prize contest has just been completed: we have evaluated all of the submitted ideas--thank you! In the course of the past few weeks, there have been some questions raised about how we go about evaluating the ideas. Let me explain how we did this.In I-Prize, there is a voting mechanism that lets participants raise (or lower) the overall score for an idea. This is not how we choose the best ideas. If so, why did we bother to put in the voting system? Let me explain: we have a set of internal questions that we asked for every idea: is it a big market, can Cisco get a good share, how close to our existing businesses, can we ensure enduring differentiation, etc. The answers to these questions were used to determine the overall score for an idea.We then went back an looked at the user-voting and we also looked at which ideas had attracted the most feedback and discussion. We used this to check whether there were ideas that had attracted a higher community vote (but that maybe had been scored lower by our own internal evaluation). We also considered ideas that we had scored lower but which had attracted a lot of responses and discussions. We then chose some ideas in these categories to add to our list of semi-finalists.The reason for doing this is that we wanted to combine expert opinion with the wisdom of crowds (and we wanted to see if there was any strong disagreement between the experts and the community!). If your idea got a low community vote--rest assured--we evaluated every idea on its merits without considering the vote. If you attracted strong interest from the community, we listened to that as well.In the next few days, we’ll be announcing our results, so stay tuned for phase 2!
One of the missions of the Cisco I-Prize is to harness innovation and talent on a global scale. One of the most fascinating aspects of the competition is to see the level of collaboration already taking place as entrepreneurs and innovators engage in a dialog about each others ideas. There are over 1000 new business ideas and thousands of comments submitted. This is an excellent indicator that collaboration on a global scale can produce superior results.As we enter the final week of the Brainstorm phase, how will teamwork and collaboration evolve in the semi final phase? What should innovators do to prepare for the semi-final phase?In the semi-finals we will help teams of competitors refine their initial idea- providing more detail about the technology and the market opportunity. The Idea Submitter will have the opportunity to identify who they want on their team. Those teammates can be existing participants or new participants but everyone must agree to the semi-final terms and conditions. To facilitate teamwork and collaboration regardless of location, Cisco will equip each team with collaboration tools, learning materials and templates.A semi-final team could be a”team of one” but we believe that well constructed teams blend different skills and perspectives that produce superior results. In both the semi-final and final stages, strength of team will be a key evaluation criterion- after all, the winners will join Cisco as founders of new Emerging Technology business so we want to know who we are hiring!Having a big team or a small team is not important. Location is also not important. We expect that the winning team may be geographically distributed. What is important is to have dedicated teammates who work well together and who add significant value through their interactions. Since the signing bonus is shared equally by the winning team, there’s a built in incentive to manage the team size to only the truly essential collaborators. Cisco is looking for the nucleus that we can build around as we convert the winning team to an emerging Technology business unit.Skill set mix is another consideration. Ideally the winning team would blend technology skills and market knowledge but in reality we expect to hire the complementary skills to make the business successful. We want the winning team to have enough critical mass to build around.So for those of you competing in the Cisco I-Prize, now is the time to build your team. Good Luck!
For you”bottom line” types, here’s the news: The Brainstorm phase of the Cisco I-Prize will now conclude on February 13, 2008, approximately 30 days past the original deadline of January 15. For those of you interested in why, read on-.When we launched the Cisco I-Prize program, no one knew what would happen- How many people would enter? Would the ideas be good enough to meet our business goals? Would participants really work together to improve and refine their ideas?Now two and a half months later we know that more than 1600 people have entered from almost 90 countries. There are many, many high-quality ideas worth considering as semifinalists. And the level of community discussion and interaction has been unbelievably high. Global collaboration is really working. Feedback from everyone has been extremely positive.As the team here at Cisco sat down to discuss the closing of the first phase, and moving into the semi-final phase, there was a bit of melancholy in the air. So much exciting action was still taking place on the Cisco I-Prize site. In fact we’re continuing to see strong growth in ideas, participants, comments, and votes. Community behavior is emerging strongly.All good things must come to an end, but based on participant feedback and our own observations that the momentum is still in full gear, we decided to extend Phase I. This is a one-time extension so this won’t happen again. The new dates for the full program are posted on the Contest Overview.For those of you already participating, this is an opportunity to think about team formation for the semifinals and to continue to collaborate on the ideas with which you are engaged. For those of you who haven’t yet started participating, it’s not too late. And for the casual observers among you, you are watching one of the most interesting and dynamic examples of how global collaboration fosters accelerated innovation!