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!