The finish line is now coming into view!Innovation Grand Challenge_Ski Solution

After launching our third annual Innovation Grand Challenge in May, today I have the utmost pleasure to unveil the 15 semifinalists.

Identified below, these digital disruptors emerged as the frontrunners in a global field of more than 5,500 participants.

That amounts to nearly twice as many submissions as last year and more than a fivefold boom compared to our inaugural competition in 2014. We also received entries from more than 150 countries, and received entries from every continent except Antarctica.

The 15 semi-finalists also prove that the world’s most game-changing innovations and pioneers connected to the digital platform can come from anywhere. These trailblazers are widely dispersed, incubating their unique ideas mostly from France, Germany, India, Israel, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

These startups employ 5-to-50 people. They connect Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to digital platforms, and use a wide range of technologies including artificial intelligence, streaming video, analytics, frictionless authentication and digital biometrics. They focus on solutions for manufacturing, smart cities, retail, infrastructure, healthcare, cyber security, and transportation.

Digital breakthroughs grow explosively. Clearly, Cisco’s Innovation Grand Challenge for digital breakthroughs grows explosively each year. This year’s massively diverse turnout is yet another sign of the pervasive opportunity that digitization presents for all industries globally. We attracted about 57.5 million impressions via outreach on our web site and social media channels. There’s never been a better time to innovate.

Congratulations to the semi-finalists and indeed all of the entries! They were universally inspiring. We also must thank more than 100 industry experts who had the tortuous responsibility of whittling all entries down to just 15, using criteria such as customer value, potential for market disruption, and fit with Cisco business strategy.

Now rounding the curve toward the finish line, the semi-finalists must accelerate their ventures while they compete against each other until Oct. 9. Each will develop a pitch deck, business canvas, evidence of a working prototype or proof of concept, and create a five-minute video.

On Oct. 25, distinguished industry leaders will select six finalists who we will announce shortly afterward. The elite field will then race to the finish line, further honing their ideas and responding to questions. On Nov. 9, the finalists will pitch their ventures live at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where a panel of judges will declare three winners on the spot.

For the third year in a row, the Innovation Grand Challenge will award the three winners $250,000 in cash prizes, game-changing development support, mentoring, marketing, and much more. Like previous winners, we will help them accelerate technologies and solutions on our digital platform that transform countries, companies, and cities.

Again, congratulations to all the digital trailblazers who entered the Innovation Grand Challenge, and especially to our semifinalists. The opportunities for success in today’s digital revolution are boundless.

The semifinalists:

  • ProGlove, Germany: Smart, wearable gloves link workers to digitized systems, improving speed, quality and data.
  • Gestoos, Spain: Artificial intelligence for cameras that can see people’s movement and understand their behavior.
  • Streamroot, France, Centralized video optimization network improves speed, quality of service, and global reach.
  • Wellth, United States: IoT technologies and financial incentives combine to help people take charge of their own healthcare.
  • IntelliSpyre, Inc., United States: Platform and software organizes darkweb cyber threats with automation, reducing costs and broadening reach.
  • Factor-E Analytics, Germany: Cloud-based platform, machine learning and energy sensors analyze health of production equipment.
  • Strawberry energy, United Kingdon + Serbia: Smart platform in public places allows people to charge smart devices, connect and get local information.
  • DeferPanic, United States: Unikernel infrastructure consolidates data center servers with security gains, lowering utilization bills.
  • Fastree3D SA, Switzerland: Static 3D imager for guidance in autonomous cars lowers costs, improve safety, and meets standards.
  • CloudMedx, United States: AI platform simplifies, scales and automates delivery of healthcare apps to care providers for better treatment.
  • Vidrovr, United States: Multimodal system using pixel, audio and text data to process and extract in-depth information from videos.
  • mSIGNIA, Inc. United States: iDNA platform reduces fraud and friction with Digital Biometrics, authentication and data analysis.
  • L7 Defense, Israel: Self- and machine-learning intelligence platform lessens DDoS attacks with little user interference.
  • Dedrone, United States: Automated, 3D aerial security platform identifies unauthorized drones, protecting critical installations.
  • Khushi Baby, India: Platform links a mobile app, digital necklace and cloud computing to track child’s and mother’s health data.







Alex Goryachev

Senior Director, Innovation Strategy & Programs

Corporate Strategic Innovation Group