News Release

Cisco Announces Winner of Global I-Prize Innovation Competition

Five Mexican Students Selected from 3,000 Participants for 'Life Account' Idea that Bridges the Gap Between Virtual and Physical Worlds
Jun 29, 2010

LAS VEGAS, NV - CiscoLive! - June 29, 2010 – Cisco today announced the winner of its second I-Prize competition, an open, global innovation contest developed to encourage collaboration among entrepreneurs and help identify new potential billion-dollar business ideas for Cisco.  A team of five university students from Mexico submitted the winning idea of a 'Life Account' that gathers information about users through connected devices in the physical world and online data available in the virtual world. The winners receive a cash prize of $250,000.

The Cisco I-Prize launched in January 2010 to invite entrepreneurs worldwide to submit new business ideas in four categories: the future of work, the connected life, new ways to learn and the future of entertainment.  After six months of competition, Cisco CEO John Chambers and Senior Vice President of the Emerging Technologies Business Group Marthin De Beer, today unveiled the winning team via Cisco TelePresence live on-stage at Cisco Live! in Las Vegas.

Contest Highlights:

  • The student team was led by Darius Lau of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), and included classmates Lizett Michel Gallegos, Claudia Alexandra Vargas Prieto, Guillermo Antonio Araiza Torres and Juan Rodrigo Huerta Manning.
  • The winning concept was submitted in the Connected Life category.  It combines social networking with the 'Internet of Things' to help bridge user activities in the physical and virtual world to create one view of the users 'life'. 
  • In the second Cisco I-Prize competition, participants were given access to Cisco collaboration technologies, such as Cisco Pulse, Cisco Show and Share, Cisco WebEx, Flip Video cameras and Cisco TelePresence to foster greater collaboration among their teams.
  • The Cisco I-Prize competition received more than 800 ideas and attracted close to 3,000 participants across 156 countries and six continents.  Even two of the three smallest nations on earth, Andorra and Monaco, submitted business ideas.
  • Cisco executives and industry leaders evaluated the business plan submissions, with the winner determined by their technological innovation as well as the promise of the new business opportunity for Cisco.
  • Cisco also utilized a new "Idea Market," powered by Spigit, which provided contest participants with the option to "invest" in the idea they deemed most deserving of the $250,000 grand prize. The Idea Market was sustained entirely by the Cisco I-Prize community who received IP Points to 'invest' in ideas, predicting which ideas have the most merit, based on the number of points invested in the idea.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Darius Lau, Cisco I-Prize Team Captain:
  • "The I-Prize experience has been life-changing. After hearing about the competition, we formed our team and started brainstorming ways to bridge the physical world with our virtual worlds. The forward thinking of Cisco to foster such an open, collaborative environment for innovation, has led to enormous opportunities for our team.  The Cisco I-Prize platform helped our team craft and execute on our idea, but also enabled us to present our winning concept in a state-of-the-art manner using video collaboration to better articulate our concept. For this opportunity we are truly appreciative."

  • Marthin De Beer, senior vice president, Emerging Technologies Business Group, Cisco
  • "Cisco's I-Prize competition was created to help drive innovation and provide aspiring entrepreneurs with a global platform to showcase their talent, stemming from an initial idea to a potential ground-breaking business opportunity. Through the use of various Cisco collaboration technologies and participation in the 'Idea Market' people around the world have been able to share ideas and learn about a host of new technologies and initiatives."

Tags / Keywords:

Cisco, I-Prize, innovation, emerging technologies, collaboration, network, video


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