Co-innovating with startups—newcomers and existing partners alike—can become highly contagious. I get no better satisfaction at work than getting to know inspired entrepreneurs who want to get together to change the game with new business models. The rewards of co-innovation just keep astonishing me more and more year after year.

That’s why I’m eagerly looking forward to joining with thousands of innovators in fewer than two weeks at this year’s Cisco Live in Berlin (February 20-24, 2017). Developers, entrepreneurs, startups and big companies will converge at Messe Berlin to learn, connect, share and grow a community of innovators around Cisco’s digital platform.

With more than 600 sessions, this will be a festival of co-innovation experiences and opportunities, ranging from keynotes, breakouts, case studies, 1:1 meet ups, training and educational forums.

And this year, we will be “all in” like never before. We know first-hand the value of co-innovation, and we have a multitude of ways for startups to engage with Cisco. Here are some examples:

  • The Investments Pavilion, located in the heart of the World of Solutions-Hall 4.2, where you can discover Cisco’s amazing worldwide investment portfolio, including 16 portfolio companies representing 8 countries and various technology domains including Security, Data Center, Big Data/Analytics, IOT, and Mobility.
  • The DevNet Zone, (World of Solutions-Hall 2.2), our software developer resource and community where you can get hands-on with Cisco SDKs and APIs. You can learn and have some fun here helping developers and network engineers learn, code, inspire, and connect so you can innovate on top of Cisco technologies and platforms. Register for DevNet Zone sessions inSchedule Builder
  • Cisco Innovation Center booths, (in the DevNet Zone), where we can exchange the latest and greatest ideas in person. We will feature our network of co-innovation hubs via an interactive map, and we can introduce you to recent startup partners with whom we have engaged in different ways. Dedrone, the recent winner of the Innovation Grand Challenge, will also be on hand to discuss what it’s like to work with Cisco. Dedrone came up with an aerial security solution that identifies rogue drones. Swing by, talk to them and learn more.

Speaking of Innovation Centers and startups, you’ll also have the opportunity to see representatives from MishiPay, Teska Labs, Hoxton Analytics, Sentryo, Alnet and NestinCloud. They all have unique stories to tell about working with Cisco as a startup and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Don’t forget to check out the speaker schedules too—not just the conference keynotes but also in the adjacent DevNet Zone classrooms. I’d like to highlight two events involving Maciej Kranz, vice president of our strategic innovation group and recent author of the New York Times best-seller, “Building the Internet of Things.” On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Maciej will join a panel discussion on, “Cisco’s IoT Integrations and Solutions,” and on Wednesday, Feb. 22, he will present, “Getting Started on the IoT Journey.”

Since we are in Berlin, I encourage anyone to visit the nearby openBerlin Innovation Center and experience first-hand one of Cisco’s flagship Innovation Centers. By touring the facility, you can gain a deeper understanding of how these “working labs” bring together our ecosystem of partners to co-innovate disruptive, digital solutions.

At openBerlin, you can attend one of our VIP Customer Briefing Sessions by registering with us here. At these sessions, you can learn more about our co-innovation strategies, how to get involved and engage with Cisco technical experts on Cisco’s technology solutions goals.  After you register, we’ll take care of the rest, including transfer from Cisco Live to openBerlin, along with snacks and drinks on the way!

If Cisco Live! Berlin was a concert, organizers would tout it as a festival of the world’s most creative new talent. In a way though, it really is like a festival. It will be music to my ears–to listen, learn, and discover new relationships with innovators to start composing game-changers for our growing audience of customers.

On a personal note, I am most passionate about disruptive innovation that leads to new business models in companies of all sizes and types. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions, get stuck, or need an innovation therapist:

Email: agoryach@cisco.com

Twitter: @AgoryachAlex

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexgoryachev


Alex Goryachev

Senior Director, Innovation Strategy & Programs

Corporate Strategic Innovation Group