Cisco calling on Australian and New Zealand IoT startups to enter 2015 Innovation Grand Challenge

- August 21, 2015 2 MIN READ

Cisco, a San Jose-headquartered multinational tech company, is urging IoT/IoE (Internet-of-Things/Internet-of-Everything) startups in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) to participate in its global Innovation Grand Challenge, which aims to recognise, support, and accelerate the adoption of technologies that “connect the unconnected”.

The competition is focused on three main verticals: Manufacturing; Energy, and Smart Cities and Transportation. The five categories for entry are Infrastructure; Middleware, Platform and Frameworks; Data Analytics and Applications; Security; and Fog Computing.

The overall winner of the competition will receive US$150,000 – the total cash pool is $250,000 and will be divided across the first, second, and third-placed winners – as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions with Cisco’s top executives. Cisco may also invest in the winner.

All winners will have access to one of Cisco’s eight IoE Innovation Centres around the world, an environment designed to help technologists develop, test, and pilot new solutions.

Grand finalists from around the world will then be selected to pitch and present their idea at the IoT World Forum in Dubai later this year.

Last year, Australian startup Propeller Aerobotics was one of the 19 global finalists in the competition, and the only finalist selected from the ANZ region out of more than 800 entries.

“Australia and New Zealand both boast examples of world leading technologies and promising IoE-based start-ups that have the potential to disrupt their industries on the world stage,” said Kevin Bloch, CTO of Cisco Australia and New Zealand.

“We believe that the winner of the 2015 Global Innovation Grand Challenge could easily come from this region and I really encourage local entrepreneurs and inventors to get their ideas in for consideration.”

Propeller Aerobotics, which uses IoT-connected drones equipped with cameras to unlock enterprise data over areas that were previously too expensive or dangerous to film, is currently exploring commercial opportunities with the resources industry.   

“Propeller is working with customers operating industrial sites, such as mines, quarries and landfills, to help them access and analyse drone-based mapping,” said Francis Vierboom, co-founder of Propeller Aerobotics.

“We’re making sure that people can adopt drone technology and get real value and actionable information from it.”

Entries are open until September 7. Entrants are required to fill out an online questionnaire about the company and concept.

Image: Francis Vierboom, co-founder, Propeller Aerobotics. Source: 1776.