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Entrepreneurs: Your Invitation to Innovate with Cisco in Europe – Second Season Application Now Open

It was only last November that I wrote about our first Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR) cohort in Europe. I knew then we had started something special – an incubation model that allows Cisco to tap into the immense talent of the European startup community and helps address many of the unique challenges entrepreneurs face in the region. Only a few months into our first European season, our startups have gained significant traction inside Cisco – and are demonstrating potential for strategic relationships and differentiation with us.

With this success in mind, I am pleased to announce we are now accepting applications from startups located in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR) to join our second season cohort in the region. We have partnered with Pioneers once again and are looking forward to announcing the winners on stage at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna in May. Find out more and apply here.

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Putting Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence into High Gear: More Startup Innovations for the Internet of Everything

Cisco’s leadership in the emerging market for the Internet of Everything (IoE), Smart Cities and Big Data/analytics rests on our ability to harness the technologies and business models of our global partner ecosystem – especially those of early-stage startups who are building truly disruptive capabilities for the future. I previously shared my vision of Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR) pioneering new ways for Cisco, already a successful innovator in the global IT space, to collaborate with innovative entrepreneurs in shaping the emerging technologies that will redefine our industry and change our lives. Since then, six startups joined our first incubation track last spring in Silicon Valley and began collaborating closely with Cisco business and engineering groups to co-create solutions for Cisco’s customers and partners. I shared various updates in the following months about the EIR program’s exciting milestones adding co-incubation partners across the US, taking the program to Europe and selecting the first startups to join our program there.

Today, I am pleased to share two more milestones marking the continued success of our open innovation strategy at Cisco, with Cisco EIR helping to lead the way.

Cisco EIR Demo Day 2014

On December 8th, 2014, we celebrated the successes of the startups in our inaugural cohort with our first Cisco EIR Demo Day (photos) a gathering of over 100 attendees, including Cisco business and technology leaders, VCs, partners and others from the Silicon Valley startup community.

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From the Last Traffic Jam to the Last “Business Jam”

When I’m stuck in one of Silicon Valley’s many traffic jams, my frustration level rises as rapidly as my speedometer slows down. I think about how the digital synchronization of highways, vehicles and traffic lights could unclog congestion, lower pollution, eliminate delays and significantly reduce our collective frustration levels.

Just a little digital automation could go a long way to reduce not only traffic and accidents but also time, gas, smog and the costs of road and car repairs. Not to mention, helping us all attain a much more sustainable environment.

So when I’m stuck like this in traffic, whether at home or internationally, my thoughts turn to how we can get to the Last Traffic Jam.

The answer is a more connected world—or the Internet of Everything. It’s how we’ll change the way we live, work, play, and learn. This has been Cisco’s goal for 30 years, and today we have an unprecedented opportunity, along with our partners, to transform our world for the better

And that includes eliminating traffic headaches.

Studies show that for every minute spent clearing an accident from a road, there is a four-minute delay to get traffic moving again. And it’s not just delays. Today, traffic congestion costs Americans alone more than $124 billion a year. By 2030, experts predict the average American household will spend 33 percent more in traffic-related costs than today and the annual price of traffic in the United States and Europe could rise nearly 50 percent from today’s costs.

Want to know more? Here are some insights on the Last Traffic Jam.

Today, we are already connecting roadways, cars, drivers, traffic lights, parking spaces, public transportation and commercial traffic. The early results show dramatic improvement in traffic flows, fewer roadside incidents, and lower transportation costs. And one day this all will lead to the Last Traffic Jam.

This is happening by connecting disparate intelligent transportation systems to provide a centralized view of highway systems, including road conditions, traffic, construction, and transit information. Connected roadways and connected cities, are improving decision-making while reducing operating and maintenance costs.

I believe the “beginning of the end” has started. Cities around the world are getting connected.

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The Last Traffic Jam and Other Lasts the Internet of Everything will Make Possible

By 2030, an average American household is expected to incur traffic-related costs of $2,301 per year, a 33 percent increase compared to 2013. In fact, the annual price of traffic in the U.S. and Europe will soar to $293 billion by 2030, a rise of nearly 50 percent from 2013. Additionally, traffic conditions around the world only seem to be getting worse as well. Doesn’t sound too promising right?

Cisco and its partners are looking for ways to reduce these costs and eventually make everyday challenges like traffic jams, a thing of the past through the connection of people, process, data and things in an Internet of Everything era. And while the next wave of the Internet is sure to bring us some pretty amazing ‘firsts’, we are pretty excited about the “lasts” we could create. Imagine the last blackout, the last oil spill, or even the last hungry child. With that in mind, Cisco has launched a new campaign that focuses on “The Museum of Lasts.” Jenny Rooney in Forbes wrote a great article on our new campaign and “the lasts a connected world enables”…see here.

Think about everyday life situations you would love to live without. Traffic jams, long checkout lines, or my personal pet peeve: a missed delivery (especially when I am waiting for my children’s Christmas gifts!) The “Museum of Lasts” introduces a glimpse into how the world might change for the better if we all think bigger, work collaboratively and disrupt to make these “lasts” a reality. The Internet of Everything is enabling these “lasts” by connecting the unconnected, through the intersection of technologies such as data analytics, cloud solutions, security, collaboration, mobility, data center, and application centric infrastructure. All powered by an intelligent network.

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How the Journey of Data Can Transform Cities

In the modern world, terms like “big data”and “open data”are making their way from tech industry forums and into local innovation initiatives across cities.

And Kansas City, MO., is no exception. Earlier this year, Think Big Partners– based in the City of Fountains and aspiring to be one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the United States –began a new collaboration with Cisco to architect a new open data portal that will be complete with some of the city’s public data sets, and eventually data from participants in this broader initiative. The goal of this portal is to help the entrepreneurial community gain easy access to relevant data in order to cull and develop their own creative Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

This new portal is one component of a larger effort for Think Big Partners, Cisco and other innovative companies to work together to manage a Kansas City “living lab” for entrepreneurs and start-ups from all over the country to tap into. The lab is designed to incubate an open ecosystem for these entrepreneurs, innovation partners and other members of the start-up community to develop new applications and technologies to address some of Kansas City’s biggest challenges. The opportunity to deploy these emerging technologies onto a larger scale, industrial platform and test them will accelerate IoT innovation through a unique commercialization model.

During the Global Editors Conference this week, where I virtually participated in a media roundtable hosted at San Jose State University on how the Internet of Everything is impacting public sector, I spoke about how Think Big Partners and Cisco are helping to create a new journey for data and IoT innovation using the new data portal as the vessel for this journey.

This new open data portal will serve as an intersection for entrepreneurs to not only have easy access to the data available, but to help the data continue on its journey to the community through the form of new apps.

Applications that have already emerged as near term, high potential candidates include smart parking, using video as a sensor, and sensors that improve delivery of municipal services especially in the area of water.

Think Big has a history of working as an innovation partner for large companies and will use the living lab, along with our Internet of Things Innovation Lab, to short circuit proof of concept challenges for entrepreneurs while testing new technologies using actual use cases. The combination of data, devices and expertise will yield powerful results at a fraction of the historical costs of commercialization technology.

As we approach 2015, I look forward to seeing this data and applications continue on its journey as the Internet of Things entrepreneur community continues to innovate and create new apps that will enhance the lives of Kansas City residents and in turn, transform cities.

Follow the conversation on Twitter with @ThinkBigKC and #CiscoGEC

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