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Cisco 2021 Global Problem Solver Challenge For Entrepreneurs

Cisco is committed to positively impacting 1 billion people by 2025. As part of our work, we seek to inspire and empower a generation of global problem solvers who will not only survive – but drive and thrive – in our increasingly digital economy. With the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital technologies connecting devices and data, good ideas now have the ability to make a difference more quickly than ever before – and we’re here to help.

The fifth annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact from entrepreneurs around the world. Our goal is to advance early-stage projects that are beyond the concept or idea formation stage, but which have not yet generated over $1M USD in funding and/or revenue.

$1,000,000 USD in prize money will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development and/or solve social or environmental problems.

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About Cisco

Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Silicon Valley. Cisco develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment and other high-technology services and products Cisco Systems was founded in December 1984 by Sandy Lerner, a director of computer facilities for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Lerner partnered with her husband, Leonard Bosack, who was in charge of the Stanford University computer science department's computers. The annual Cisco Global Prob... read more


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Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

  • Type Entrepreneurs
  • OrganisationCisco
  • Country to study -
  • School to study -
  • Course to study Not specified
  • State of Origin
  • Gender Men and Women
  • Application Deadline January 29, 2021

Aim and Benefits of Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

In 2021, for our fifth annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, we are offering an expanded prize pool of $1 million USD, spread across 20 different awards. These prizes will recognize new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact from early-stage entrepreneurs around the world.

  1. $250,000 USD Grand Prize. A single team will be designated the grand prize winner.
  2. $75,000 USD Regional First Runners-Up. Three teams from Americas, EMEAR and APJC will be designated the regional first runners-up and will receive $75,000 USD each.
  3. $50,000 USD Second Runners-Up. Three teams will be designated the second runners-up and will receive $50,000 USD each.
  4. $25,000 USD Third Runners-Up. Three teams will be designated the third runners-up and will receive $25,000 USD each.
  5. $10,000 USD Fourth Runners-Up. Three teams will be designated the fourth runners-up and will receive $10,000 USD each
  6. $10,000 USD People’s Choice. The finalist entry that receives the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award.
  7. $10,000 USD Cisco Employees’ Choice. The finalist entry that receives the most votes will receive the Cisco Employees’ Choice Award.

In addition to the general prizes above we are offering five special prizes, of $50,000 USD each, to support important solutions and focus areas. To be considered for one of these prizes, complete the prize-specific question(s) within the application

  1. $50,000 USD Greenhouse Gas Solutions Prize. A single team will be designated as the winner of this prize.
  2. $50,000 USD Ethical AI Prize. A single team will be designated as the winner of this prize.
  3. $50,000 USD Digital Inclusivity Prize. A single team will be designated as the winner of this prize.
  4. $50,000 USD HBCU Startup Prize. A single team will be designated as the winner of this prize.
  5. $50,000 USD Pandemic Response Prize. A single team will be designated as the winner of this prize.

Requirements for Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge Qualification

The Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2021 is a worldwide search for early-stage technology-enabled solutions and services that can enable economic development and/or benefit society and/or the environment. Our goal is to advance early-stage projects that are beyond the concept or idea formation stage, but which have not yet generated over $1M USD in funding and/or revenue.

You can participate as an individual, as part of a team, or as a business entity. Teams may have a maximum of 5 members. If you are registering as part of a team, your team leader will need to register first and then can invite you to register as a member of the team, using your email address. For detailed eligibility requirements, please review the rules. Once you are ready, click here to register.


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Interview date, Process and Venue for Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

Application timeline:

  1. Applications Close Jan 29 at 5 pm PT

  2. Semi-Finalists Invited to Submit; March 30, 2021

  3. Semi-Finalist Submissions Close Apr 23 at 5 pm PT

  4. Finalists Announced and People's Choice Voting Opens; June 2, 2021

  5. People's Choice Voting Closes; June 18, 2021

  6. Winners Announced;June 29, 2021


Application Deadline

January 29, 2021


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to Cisco on gps2021.skild.com to apply

You need to register on our online platform, complete an online questionnaire, and upload required documentation including a 90-second pitch video. For more details on the submission process, please click the link below.

For more details, visit Cisco website



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