The fourth annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact from student entrepreneurs around the world. The Challenge is open to students and recent alumni from any college or university.
Cisco is committed to positively impacting 1 billion people by 2025. It seeks to inspire and empower a generation of global problem solvers who will not only survive – but drive and thrive – in the increasingly digital economy. With the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital technologies connecting more devices and data than ever before, good ideas now have the ability to make a difference more quickly than ever before.
$350,000 USD in prize money will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development as well as solve social or environmental problems.
Further in 2020, Cisco is offering a special regional Global Problem Solver Challenge: India Impact prize. A total of $50,000 in prizes will be award to Indian social entrepreneurs. Teams will be eligible for the India Impact prizes if their team members are current students or recent graduates of an Indian post-secondary institution, and their solution must be focused on a social or environmental problem that affects India.
Winners of the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge
The total prize for the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge is $350,000. The winners in the global round will receive the overall prize of $300,000 while the winners of the India Impact will receive a total prize of $50,000.
The jury designates the global prizes as:
- Grand Prize: $100,000 US
- First Runner Up: $75,000 USD
- Three Second Runners Up: $25,000 USD each
- Four Third Runners Up: $10,000 USD each
India Impact Prize
- India Impact Grand Prize:$25,000 USD
- Two India Impact Runners Up: $10,000 USD each
- India Impact People’s Choice Award: $10,000 USD
Eligibility for the Global Problem Solver Challenge
Cisco considers applicants eligible for the Global Problem Solver Innovation Challenge if they meet the following requirements:
- At least half of the team’s members must be students currently studying at a post-secondary institution or have a degree after March 1, 2018.
- Individuals that meet the above qualifications must own at least 25% of the business.
- Individual students and recent grads may also apply.
- Eligible solutions (technologies, products or services) must:
- Incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) or digital technologies as part of the solution
- Have a positive social, environmental or economic impact (e.g. health, education, accessibility, critical human needs (food, water, disaster response/recovery, safety, etc.).
How to apply for the Global Problem Solver Challenge
Eligible candidates can apply for the Global Problem Solver Challenge by completing and submitting the online application form. The candidates must provide their basic information, as well as describe how their solution meets the eligibility criteria.
Cisco accepts the application for the Global Problem Solver Challenge until 17 January 2020. Applications arriving after the deadline are not eligible for the competition.