News Release

Cisco Highlights Multibillion-Pound Opportunity for UK Startups in the Internet of Everything

New report highlights the possibilities open to UK startup companies embracing the potential of connecting people, process, data and things
Mar 16, 2015

Cisco has unveiled how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is actively shaping the future of today’s startup community, creating several billion pounds worth of growth opportunity. A new report issued today reveals that the IoE could generate over £100 billion in the next decade for UK startup companies that look to connect people, process, data and things across sectors such as healthcare, retail, energy and transport.

The report, titled The Internet of Everything: Unlocking the Opportunity for UK Startups, examines the IoE potential for startup businesses across four key sectors that are identified as those that will have a significant impact on the UK economy. Released to mark the launch of Cisco’s BIG Awards, the report indicates that startups in the healthcare industry currently have the greatest opportunity, with the scope to access over £48 billion over the next decade through innovations in the IoE. The retail industry is not far behind at £37 billion, with big gains also to be made in transport (£11 billion) and energy (£7 billion). Businesses in all of these industries have significant opportunity to transform their respective industries by streamlining processes, removing inefficiency and creating better experiences for patients, passengers and the general public alike. In addition, the report highlights examples of UK startups that are already making inroads into harnessing the IoE in each of these sectors.

Cisco predicts that the number of devices connected worldwide will rise from around a billion today to 50 billion by 2020. But with less than 1% of the world currently connected, options for the startup community to exploit opportunities for digitalisation and connectivity are substantial.

Phil Smith, Chief Executive, Cisco UK and Ireland, said: “UK companies of every size are devoting time and ingenuity to designing and building IoE applications, from the smallest SMEs to the largest enterprises. These companies are not just digitising in the conventional sense but finding completely new ways to connect people, processes, data and things, from their supply chains to their office spaces and their customers. The UK’s startup community is a great source of innovation, and we’re confident that we’re only witnessing the first wave. In the coming months and years, we can expect these businesses to be at the forefront of the transformation of the UK economy as we fully embrace the possibilities of a digital future.”

The Cisco BIG Awards aim to recognise and support up-and-coming innovators and entrepreneurs from across the UK. This year’s competition focuses primarily on the Internet of Everything, seeking submissions from small businesses and early stage startups that have IoE technology-based prototypes and proof of concepts in development.

The submission process for the Cisco BIG awards is open from today until June 1st 2015. Winners of the awards will have access to a full array of Cisco and supporting partner capabilities from technology to business development, with potential investment and future partnering opportunities.

To read the report in full or learn more about the BIG Awards, visit

The British Innovation Gateway (BIG) is a Cisco-led, UK-wide programme that supports technology startups and the upcoming generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. BIG aims to inspire a new generation of businesses and offer practical help, mentoring and advice, with the specific goal of accelerating innovation and growth and having a significant impact on the SME sector of the UK economy. BIG was launched by David Cameron and John Chambers, Cisco’s Global CEO in January 2011.  To find out more about Cisco’s BIG initiatives including the Cisco CREATE IoE Innovation Centre, IDEALondon and the National Virtual Incubator (NVI) programme, please visit