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PRESS RELEASE

Cisco BIG Awards Shortlist Announced

Britain's most innovative start-ups and SMEs celebrated

29th May 2012 – United Kingdom - Twenty businesses from across the UK have been shortlisted for the Cisco BIG Awards today, as Cisco completes the first stage of its hunt to find Britain's most inspiring and innovative start-ups and SMEs.

The Awards, which are running in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase, Bird & Bird, DNX and Octopus Communications, will take place annually throughout Cisco's British Innovation Gateway (BIG) initiative - a significant five-year investment of cash, technology and human resources – and aims to develop Britain's innovation eco-system and create an environment in which start-up digital businesses and their ideas can flourish.

In its inaugural year, the Cisco BIG Awards is celebrating shining examples of the UK's most enter­prising small businesses. The categories, which include BIG Data, Collaboration, Future Cities, Internet of Things and Mobility, each represent some of the most relevant technology challenges and mega trends facing business today. A dedicated judging panel from Cisco worked through the 300 entries, measuring each one against a strict criterion, to shortlist 20 semi-finalists. From this 20, six finalists will be chosen to present their business plans live to a judging panel before the winner is chosen.

The overall winner will receive a total prize package of approximately $200k, made up of $100k cash, 12 months of mentoring from Cisco and a 12- month support package covering PR, marketing and legal services. Runners-up and semi-finalists will also receive cash and technology prizes to support and accelerate the development of their brands and businesses.

The full shortlist is:

BIG Data

Collaboration

Future Cities

Internet of Things

Mobility

Supporting Quote:

Phil Smith, CEO Cisco UK and Ireland

"We are very proud to announce the Cisco BIG Awards semi-finalists. Each is a testament to the fact that the UK is full of thriving and innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs with diverse and leading edge businesses. The quality of the entries has been outstanding and it's great to see that the UK tech scene can rise to individual challenges and also flourish in the wider context of a truly testing marketplace. We are delighted to extend our congratulations to them all!"  

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Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com. Cisco equipment in Europe is supplied by Cisco Systems International BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc.

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