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Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

Posted May 27, 2017

Digitize. Do More Good.

Five hundred billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2030! 

Things like wells, cars, watches, refrigerators, and more will be connected to the Internet for the first time so that they can transmit and receive information.

Digitization is about connecting people and things to the Internet so that the information those connections provide can be used to improve processes and decision making.

With digitization and the Internet of Things (IoT), good ideas can make a difference more quickly than ever before by driving economic development and helping people solve some of our most pressing social and environmental challenges.

Our 1B People Pledge

As part of our work to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025, Cisco seeks to inspire and empower a generation of global problem solvers who will not only survive – but drive and thrive – in our increasingly digital economy. This challenge aims to recognize student entrepreneurs that promote and accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies, products and services that drive economic development and/or solve social or environmental problems.

Who Should Enter?

This challenge is open to students or recent alumni from any college or university. For detailed eligibility requirements, please click here

Areas of impact could include, but are not limited to:

  • local industry/economic development
  • critical human needs (food, water, shelter, and disaster relief)
  • healthcare
  • economic empowerment/financial inclusion
  • education
  • environment
  • connectivity

Digital Technologies that enable these innovations may include, but are not limited to:

  • connected/smart solutions (smart home, smart city, smart energy)
  • connected transportation
  • wearables
  • big data
  • analytics
  • cloud computing

We are awarding $300,000 to support Global Problem Solvers


Grand Prize: The Grand Prize winner will receive $100,000 USD.

First Runner Up: The First Runner Up will receive $75,000 USD.

Second Runners Up: Three teams will be designated the Second Runners Up and will receive $25,000 USD each.

Third Runners Up: Four teams will be designated the Third Runners Up and will receive $10,000 USD each.

People’s Choice: The People’s Choice winner will receive $10,000 USD.

Applications Open on March 30, 2017. Applications Close on May 30 at 5 PM PT. Finalists will be announced on June 12, 2017. People’s Choice Voting Open on June 12 – 28. Winners will be announced on June 29, 2017.

Why you should participate?

  • Huge cash infusion to develop your company or solution
  • Global recognition and publicity for your company or solution
  • Looks great on a resume or in a prospectus to potential funders
  • Review by Cisco technology experts and high profile judges
  • Peer and industry validation for your solution


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