Cisco’s BIG Awards 2013 opens for entries

Cisco opened its Big Innovation Gateway (BIG) awards for nominations to find the best emerging technology start-ups in 2013

Cisco’s Big Innovation Gateway (BIG) Awards are open for entries as the supplier continues its hunt for the best emerging technology start-up the UK has to offer.

Last year Snap Fashion beat 300 other entrants to the grand prize of a cheque for $100,000 plus a mentorship package valued at $75k which included legal advice, PR and marketing, investment advice and business support. Runners-up and semi-finalists also received cash and technology prizes.

This year the BIG Awards mentorship package includes partners Bird & Bird, DNX, Spigit, Right Management and Octopus Communications.

Applicants can enter their technology concept or prototype idea into one of four categories. Open until 21 June, Cisco is looking for entries to “showcase how the concept can benefit the public and private sectors, utilising the network as the platform to deliver economic, social and environmental sustainability,” said the company.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland, launched the awards last week at an event at St Mary Axe (the Gherkin) in London.

He said: "The BIG Awards is a key component of our five year, British Innovation Gateway initiative to encourage UK growth through entrepreneurship and the advancement of Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills. Last year demonstrated how many high potential technology based start-ups and SMEs there are in the UK.

“We are looking forward to identifying more potential in businesses at this year's BIG Awards. By nurturing the growing businesses of tomorrow, we are helping to build a brilliant future for technology in the UK."

Open to individuals, groups and legal entities in the UK, the awards include four stages of judging, with the “Dragon’s Den” live final taking place on 14 November 2013.

The BIG awards are part of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) initiative, which was launched during the London Olympics 2012. The initiative is part of a five-year investment plan, in which Cisco aims to develop “Britain’s innovation eco-system” enabling start-ups to flourish.

You can find more information about the competition on the BIG Awards website.


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