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Cisco 2022 Global Problem Solver Challenge for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs (Up to $1 million USD in Prizes)

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 thrive – in our increasingly digital economy. With 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.

Our 6th annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact from early-stage entrepreneurs around the world. 

$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 February 11, 2022

Aim and Benefits of Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

  • $250,000 USD Grand Prize: A single team will be designated the grand prize winner.
  • $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.
  • $50,000 USD Second Runners-Up: Three teams will be designated the second runners-up and will receive $50,000 USD each.
  • $10,000 USD People’s Choice: The finalist entry that receives the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award.
  • $15,000 USD Cisco Employees’ Choice: The finalist entry that receives the most votes will receive the Cisco Employees’ Choice Award.

Special 2022 Prizes

  • $100,000 USD Climate Impact & Regeneration Prize: A single team will be designated as the winner of this prize.
  • $50,000 USD Climate Impact & Regeneration Prize Runners-Up: Four teams will be designated as the winners of this prize.
  • $50,000 USD HBCU Startup Prize: A single team will be designated as the winner of this prize.

Requirements for Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge Qualification

  • Open to early-stage entrepreneurs around the world with new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact.
  • This Contest is open and offered only to
    • individuals age eighteen (18) years or older at the time of registration (“Individual Participant”)
    • teams of up to five individuals age eighteen (18) years or older at the time of registration (“Team Participant”), and
    • legal business entities (“Business Entity Participant”).
  • Applicants may be nonprofit or for-profit business entities, or they may not yet have formed a legal business entity.

Checkout: How To Write A Scholarship Essay - Scholarship Essay Examples

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

The judging panel will make their selection based on the content of the submissions and using the following criteria:

  • Innovative Internet of Things (IoT) or digital technology solution: How innovative is the solution in its use of new or existing technology to solve a local or global problem? Are there other solutions available and if so, how does this differentiate from them? (33%)
  • Feasibility: How feasible is the solution to put into practice? Does the solution make sense financially? Will the solution be sustainable over the long term? (24%)
  • Impact: What is the scale of potential social impact? How broad is the impact? How many people will your solution reach? How significant is the impact? (33%)
  • Clarity: How well do you articulate your solution and the potential impact it will have on society? (10%)

Application Deadline

February 11, 2022


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to Cisco on gps2022.skild.com to apply

There will be two distinct submission rounds.

Round one opens November 30, 2021 and closes February 11, 2022 at 5:00 pm PST. To prepare your submission you will need to complete an online questionnaire, which will cover the following topics:

  • Defining the problem you are solving
  • Overview of your solution
  • Benefits of your solution and how it uses digital technologies
  • How your solution is unique and will be taken to market
  • Risks associated with the solution
  • 90-second pitch video explaining the solution

For more details,visit Cisco website



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