News Release

Cisco and Pioneers Partner to Support European Startup Innovation with the Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence Program

Applications Open in Europe to Harness the ideas, talent and passion of the European startup ecosystem and accelerate Internet of Everything (IoE) innovation
Jul 22, 2014

VIENNA, July 22, 2014 – Cisco and Pioneers, the global community for entrepreneurship, science and technology, announced today the opening of application entries to the Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) Program for the first time in Europe.  This marks the next phase of the Cisco EIR Program, first announced in August 2013, for early-stage entrepreneurs working on the next big idea for the Internet of Everything (IoE), security, big data/analytics, Smart Cities and other transformational opportunities.  Cisco EIR brings together the brightest minds in the industry to focus on breakthrough advancements and help grow early-stage companies.

Cisco and Pioneers will jointly select and onboard a cohort of 5-10 startups that are at their early funding stage.  Cisco EIR offers the successful startups financial support, access to co-working space, basic software tools and a potential opportunity to collaborate with Cisco product or engineering teams.

The first European cohort will be selected through a rigorous multiphase selection process organized by Cisco and Pioneers leading up to the internationally renowned Pioneers Festival, taking place October 29-30 in Vienna.  Cisco and Pioneers will announce the selected startups during the Festival.  The selection process focuses on the viability of applicants' business plans, the strength of the teams and their alignment with Cisco's strategic focus on IoE and other opportunities.  Once on-board each cohort spends six months in residence with Cisco and Cisco partners in Vienna.

"Cisco EIR takes Cisco's best practices coupled with its partner ecosystem to help startups accelerate their product development and business growth. Cisco's goal is to create an environment that embraces strategic freedom while giving the startups potential opportunities to collaborate closely with Cisco," said Mala Anand Senior Vice President, Cisco Services Platforms Group. "Europe is a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent and Vienna is a place where the concept of open innovation and startup incubation is well understood – both are gateways to key emerging markets.  Through this collaboration with Pioneers, the successful applicants will have unprecedented access to Cisco and Cisco's partner ecosystem to fuel their growth trajectories."

The Pioneers Startup Program gives startups visibility to venture capital firms, corporate partners and industry.  The Program also provides startups with mentorship and a channel to accelerate sales and business development. Pioneers offers entrepreneurs a breadth of options – including showcasing the latest products at the Pioneers Festival, being part of the Pioneers Challenge, building relationships with accelerator partners and now becoming a Cisco Entrepreneur in Residence.

"Bringing together established big corporations and startups is an important piece of the puzzle to foster global innovation," said Andreas Tschas, Co-founder of Pioneers.  "Our Pioneers Festival's Startup Program's are already working with accelerator and venture capital partners, run our own independent accelerator programs like the Pioneers Challenge and, now with Cisco, offer a highly attractive corporate Program with one of the biggest and most innovative IT companies."

Cisco EIR launched its first cohort consisting of six startups in Silicon Valley in April 2014.  The six startups are being supported by a team of executives, advisors and mentors who represent a cross-section of expertise from Cisco and its partners.

To submit an application to Cisco EIR and Pioneers, startups can complete a "one stop" application form here for consideration.

For more information please visit and our recent Cisco EIR blog post. For questions email us at


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About Pioneers

Pioneers is an international platform positioned at the intersection of entrepreneurship, science and future technologies. The company inspires, empowers and connects entrepreneurs and supports them in solving the world's biggest challenges through innovation. Pioneers brings together its community at over 60 international events all over the globe including the renowned Pioneers Festival in Imperial Palace, Vienna. The company acts as one of the key architects within the European startup communities, and is an interface between startups, corporations and investors.




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