October 31, 2007 9:53 AM PDT

Make Cisco $1 billion and win a job

Networking giant Cisco Systems has launched a global competition to find new technology business ideas.

With a strong focus on the use of collaboration tools, the I-Prize competition aims to find IP-based innovations that can earn Cisco at least $1 billion over a five- to seven-year period. The contest was announced Wednesday at the opening of the company's Globalization Center East in Bangalore, India.

"There are large parts of the world where inventors and entrepreneurs don't have ready access to venture capital or other means of funding, but they have excellent ideas," said Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Emerging Markets Technology Group. "We want to give those innovators an outlet and a means to develop their dream."

The prize itself will consist of the winning team having the opportunity to join Cisco as founders of a new emerging-technology business unit. Cisco may invest up to $10 million in the new unit, and is also offering those who get through to the later rounds of the contest the chance to use some of its various collaboration tools.

Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and cannot already be Cisco employees or their family members. Further details are available on the Cisco I-Prize Web site.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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Cisco Systems Inc., collaboration tool, collaboration, IP

7 comments

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Why would we give a billion dollar idea to Cisco for next to nothing?
We are working on exactly what Cisco is looking for but why wouldn?t we simply build a company around our work and keep the profits from the billion dollar idea for ourselves? Cisco would have to sweeten the pot for us to be interested!
Manhattan2 has a group of dedicated engineers making strides in many industries. Exploring improved data distribution is one of them.
Posted by Manhattan2 (329 comments )
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Is this a stupidity test for startups?
The goal of creating your own company is to avoid going into corporate. And- start up beauty contests dressed as venture opportunities are always won by the judges.

BuzzCurve will prove its business model in the real world before the recipe is shared with with the big guys.
Posted by BuzzCurve (2 comments )
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Smart and Ambitious are not the same
Some people are Smart, darn Smart...but not ambitious. Others don't see a vision for creating wealth for themselves out of nothing, because it isn't in their experience to know anyone that has ever done that.

Not only in poor countries, but especially in poor countries.

The only thing is, Cisco won't know a billion dollar idea if it hits them in the face... thats where I find fault with the contest, is its a big exercise that will probably bring out some real winners, but in the end, they have no way to know.

Only by tring them all out in the marketplace, will the real billion dollar idea emerge, and probably several of those will have been rejected by Cisco's contest judges.

This isn't American Idol, its the real world.
Posted by rdupuy11 (908 comments )
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What's wrong with you people?
CNET writers have some genetic misfire that prevents them from including links to the sites and web pages that make their ENTIRE NEWS SITE even possible.

Would it be too much to ask you to actually provide links to the sites that give you the ideas for your stories - thereby providing you with the content that sells your advertising?

Jebus....what's wrong with you people?
Posted by Jim Hubbard (326 comments )
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make 1 billion for them?
I would make linksys rewrie their entire code base. lag lag lag
Posted by inachu (963 comments )
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No Way!
They should post the equity terms in advance and the contributor should be reward $100 Million if it succeeds.

These existing terms are for big firms cannibalizing the poor again.
Posted by Tod Smith (340 comments )
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wel well i wish by might God that i wish can winnig so much money
i wish someone like me 2 2 win dat check amount
Posted by donervan (1 comment )
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