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IoT Disruptors: Announcing Innovation Grand Challenge Semi-Finalists

October 5, 2015 - 11 Comments

I am thrilled to be the first to announce our 15 semi-finalists in Cisco’s second annual Innovation Grand Challenge. Culled from more than 3,000 entries in over 100 countries since June, I can sum up the semi-finalists’ innovations in one word: Disruptors.

Innovation signI want to congratulate all the semi-finalists for making it this far. It gives me tremendous pleasure to identify them below. I wish all of these bold pioneers much success in the weeks ahead as we begin the countdown to the three winners in early December at the IoT World Forum in Dubai.

Will One Be the Next Uber?

Will one of the semi-finalists emerge as the next Uber, Airbnb or Pandora that disrupts and transforms whole markets with unforeseen business models? By looking over these entries, which leverage the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT), I can easily imagine this distinct possibility.

These IoT trailblazers also validate my view that today’s daring new developments can come from anywhere in the world. These 15 are dispersed throughout North and South America as well as Europe, including Argentina, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Another observation is the power and potential of converging technologies around IoT have captured the attention and imagination of the entrepreneurial community worldwide, reflecting the growing trend of globalization and diversity of technical talent.

Global inclusion and diversity are igniting innovation. Our semi-finalists are ingeniously connecting everything from sensors, to software and analytics, leveraging Fog and Cloud Computing and the network as a platform. And they’re focusing on manufacturing, transportation, smart cities, the environment, cyber security and more to radically disrupt all kinds of markets with better business outcomes and public benefits.

IoT Innovation Examples

Here are just a few semi-finalist examples that captured my imagination.

One startup says its cloud-based streaming intelligence and anomalytics platform is disruptively cheaper, simpler and more comprehensive in detecting abnormalities, whether it’s malware or operations. Another says it will “overthrow” established computer vision systems with its higher performance version of vision sensors inspired by the human eye.

Cloud apps imageOne semi-finalist targets austere environments with no or overloaded network infrastructure and proposes a distributed platform based on mobile devices to provide cloud-like services such as dynamic workflows, secure databases, real-time mapping and 3D-modeling . Still another says its solution cuts air pollution in cities “250 times more efficiently” than any natural solution with lab-cultured moss enabled by IoT technology.

I cite these entries as representative of all the semi-finalists and in no way to foreshadow who will make it to the finalist round. That will be up to the collective evaluations of our judges. All 15 semi-finalists will be evaluated through the end of October and the six finalists will be announced on Nov. 23.

All six finalists will make their Shark Tank-like pitches at the IoT World Forum before the finalist judges, and three will walk away with $250,000 in awards and invaluable development and go-to-market support to turbo charge their ventures.

Again, congratulations to the Cisco Innovation Grand Challenge Semi-Finalists:

Chronocam Paris, France
CONNECTHINGS Barcelona, Spain
CyberFlow Analytics San Diego (California), United States
CyberLighting, Ltd. Espoo, Finland
Eigen Innovations, Inc. Fredericton, Canada
Green City Solutions Dresden, Germany
Humanitas Montreal, Canada
Igor Johnston (Iowa),United States
Inston, Inc. Los Angeles (California), United States
Jolt Provo (Utah), United States
Less Industries Buenos Aires, Argentina
Notion Denver (Colorado), United States
Novelti Madrid, Spain
Nwave Technologies London, United Kingdom
Simularity Point Richmond (California), United States

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  1. Congratulations to all the finalists. Great effort to get to this point.

  2. Congrats to the semi-finalists. Great to:

  3. Congratulations to all the Semifinalists.

  4. Congratulations to the 15 semi-finalists! It is exciting to hear that there were over 3,000 entries from 100 countries. Given the large number of entries, I have no doubt that phenomenal innovative ideas will be culled from these entries and evolved to improve the way we all work, live, and play.

  5. What a great diverse group of finalists! Congratulations to all whose ideas are helping to shape and advance IoT in a world where it has already shown impact. Cisco is both a champion and enabler of IoT devices. To see our own people generate such ideas is testament to our talent!

  6. Congratulations to all the Semifinalists

  7. Congratulations to all the Semifinalists.

  8. hi,

    Firstly, Congratulations to all the Semifinalists. We were one among the contenders. We’re trying to get IoT working for a Social cause (the problem of Waste Management).

    Over the past couple of years – we’ve been working to develop a technology Platform (realized as – this is a platform that promises multiple benefits for the society we live in. On the one hand – we’re bringing Structure and Process into the Unorganized Sector – thereby improving efficiencies and optimize operations. Simultaneously we’re helping create Livelihoods / Job Opportunities among some of the most Impoverished and Neglected sections of our society (what we refer to as the Bottom of the Bottom of the Pyramid).

    We believe that sooner or later IoT would enable us to leverage on the technology that we’ve already built – and offer solutions that would make this sector a ‘Viable Business Proposition’ for anyone with a Social Business Model.

    We do believe that there is an immense business opportunity waiting to be discovered and unlocked. We might not be among the Semifinalists this time. But we will continue working towards putting technology where we think it deserves to be.

    In doing so, we hope to change the World for the better……..

  9. Congratulations to the winners, though I am confused about the challenge objectives. Surely, every company is bringing disruption, but not everyone seems to be directly related with Internet of Things. If CISCO’s grand vision now is to see every technological disruption through IoT lense, it’s well clear now.

  10. Congrats to the semi-finalists

    Jason Peixoto

  11. I was surprised that you didn’t notify the competition entrants of the results, not even an email…?

    Aside from that, congratulations to the semi-finalists.