So here we are again – seems like only yesterday that we were going through the difficult task of picking the BIG Awards 2012 finalists…. and now over a year later we are about to announce the finalists for the 2013 competition, and have had a full year supporting last year’s winners Snap Fashion and Digital Shadows.

The BIG Awards is one of the 4 main components of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) programme, which forms the core of our innovation-based legacy from London 2012.

So much has happened in the last 12 months it’s hard to fathom and already both 2012 winners are moving their businesses forward in so many ways. Snap Fashion launched in Singapore and Digital Shadows received Cool Vendor 2013 status from Gartner. It seems like they are the “grown-ups” to the new talent coming through – I have to say it was great to see Jenny,  CEO from Snap Fashion, and Alastair, CEO from Digital Shadows, offering their advice and experience at our recent semi-final event at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UKI and Tom Kneen, BIG Programme Lead, Cisco with Jenny Griffiths, CEO and Founder of Snap Fashion and Alastair Paterson, CEO of Digital Shadows.
Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UKI and Tom Kneen, BIG Programme Lead, Cisco with Jenny Griffiths, CEO and Founder of Snap Fashion and Alastair Paterson, CEO of Digital Shadows.

As a team we were wondering how we would match the quality of the 6 finalists from 2012. But when we first glanced at the early submissions for the 2013 competition we knew we had no need to be worried – the entries did not disappoint and once again the judging panel was set a very hard task to pick 20 semi-finalists and then in the last couple of weeks the finalists.

We now have 6 finalists that we are very pleased with and that cover some of the key technology trends and vertical themes that are very much of the moment.

  • In the health sector, uMotif has developed a digital health platform for both patient and clinician that helps people with Parkinson’s disease lead healthy and independent lives with the ability to exchange data with their medical team
  • Whisk focuses on the world of food, cooking, and recipes and linking into online retailers by translating recipes into shopping lists that minimise waste.
  • In the more technology focused area we have Actual Experience, focused on ensuring the whole end-to-end IT experience/performance for the user is constantly monitored and improved
  • Bleep Bleeps operates in the Internet Of Things space and focuses on bringing cool design to a set of parenting  devices
  • SupaDupa.Me is web-enabling the artistic entrepreneurs of the future
  • Presence Orb, which won the popular vote, is an innovative data collection and predictive analytics engine for use across a myriad of business verticals including advertising, transport and retail.

On 14 November, the finalists will make their pitches face to face with the Cisco Dragons, a judging panel led by our own Phil Smith. Finalist will have 10 minutes to present their business concepts and this can include a live demonstration and a video.

The winner will be announced that night and will walk away with US$100,000 and 12 months of mentoring and support from Cisco and our BIG partners – Bird & Bird, Right Management, Octopus, and DNX.

Once again we have a diverse range of talent for the BIG Awards 2013 and we cannot wait to see who will win when they meet the dragons.


Tom Kneen

Business Development Manager, CTO Office, UKI

GEO - Sales UKI Mgmt