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Contest for USA, Canada, and International Individuals, Nonprofits,
and For-Profits to Address Social and Environmental Issues

Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Cisco

Conf. Date:

12/14/21

Deadline Date:

02/11/22 5:00 PM

Description:

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Contest for USA, Canada, and International individuals, nonprofit organizations, and businesses in eligible regions for innovative technologies that address social or environmental concerns. Funding areas of interest include accessibility, education, financial inclusion, healthcare, and critical human needs. The following regions are excluded from participation: Quebec, Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar (formerly Burma), and Sudan.

The 6th annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact from early-stage entrepreneurs around the world. Funding will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development and/or solve social or environmental problems.

The goal is to advance early-stage startups with a dedicated team that are beyond the idea formation stage (i.e. have completed a proof of concept for the core functionality of the product/service, at a minimum), but which have not yet generated substantial funding and/or revenue at the time of submission. Applicants may be nonprofit or for-profit business entities, or they may not yet have formed a legal business entity.

In addition to a cash infusion to develop your solution, it will be reviewed by Cisco technology experts and high-profile judges. You’ll receive peer and industry validation for your solution, as well as have a great opportunity for global recognition and publicity. Areas of impact include, but are not limited to, critical human needs like water or food security, healthcare, financial inclusion, education, accessibility, and the environment.

For 2022, in addition to the general prizes above Cisco is offering $350,000 USD in special prizes to support important solutions and focus areas.

The Climate Impact & Regeneration Prize will be awarded to a startup using technology to assist in any of the following:

  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) drawdown and sequestration, or other innovations to stop the increase — or even reverse — GHG concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere
  • Regenerative agriculture – moving large numbers of farmers towards restorative and regenerative agriculture
  • Ecosystem resilience and regeneration – especially where this is accomplished in collaboration with Indigenous communities and Indigenous Ecological Knowledge.

Projects which combine any of the above in innovative ways will receive highest consideration.

HBCU Startup Prize

Cisco’s Social Justice Beliefs and Actions framework commits to the strategic recovery, sustainability and legacy of America's historically Black colleges and universities, post-COVID and beyond. Cisco believes in the importance of investing in African American/Black-owned startups. The HBCU Startup Prize will be awarded to a team with at least one founder who is a student or alumni of an HBCU, with an innovative technology solution that addresses a social or environmental problem. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 200205

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$1,000,000

Number of Grants:

1 Grand Prize; 3 First Runners-Up teams; 3 Second Runners-Up teams; 1 People's Choice team; 1 Cisco Employee's Choice team; 1 Climate Impact prize; 4 Climate Impact Runners-up teams; 1 HBCU Startup Prize

Estimated Size of Grant:

- $250,000 USD Grand Prize
- $75,000 USD Regional First Runners-Up
- $50,000 USD Second Runners-Up
- $10,000 USD People's Choice
- $15,000 USD Cisco Employees' Choice

Special Prizes:
- $100,000 USD Climate Impact & Regeneration Prize
- $50,000 USD Climate Impact & Regeneration Prize Runners-Up
- $50,000 USD HBCU Startup Prize

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new business ideas that leverage technology for social impact from early-stage entrepreneurs around the world. Applicants may be nonprofit or for-profit business entities, or they may not yet have formed a legal business entity.

This Contest is open and offered only to (1) individuals age eighteen (18) years or older at the time of registration (“Individual Participant”), 2) teams of up to five individuals age eighteen (18) years or older at the time of registration (“Team Participant”), and (3) legal business entities (“Business Entity Participant”).

Individual Participants, Team Participants, and/or Business Entity Participants that have previously received monetary awards in the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge or a Cisco prize at the Rice Business Plan Competition are not eligible for this Contest.

Participants may submit an Entry individually, or as part of a team, or as a Business Entity:
- Individuals: Individual Participants may enter the Contest in their individual capacities to develop and submit a single Entry
- Teams: As an alternative to participating as a single individual, a group of individuals may elect to form a team (“Team”) of up to five members to develop and submit a single Entry.
- Business Entities: Business Entity Participants must enter the Contest on behalf of their legal business organizations to develop and submit a single Entry.

This Contest is not open to: (1) employees or internally contracted vendors of Sponsor or its parent/subsidiaries, agents and affiliates; (2) the immediate family members or members of the same household of any such employee or vendor; (3) anyone professionally involved in the development or administration of this Contest; (4) employees or internally contracted vendors of governments and government-affiliated companies or organizations; or (5) any employee whose employer's guidelines or regulations do not allow entry in the Contest or acceptance of the prize(s). This Contest is not open to Individual Participants who are permanent residents of the province of Quebec, Canada during the Contest period, Team Participants with one or more team members who are permanent residents of the province of Quebec, Canada during the Contest period, or Business Participants located or registered in the province of Quebec, Canada, of which one or more of the owners are permanent residents of the province of Quebec, Canada during the Contest period. Canadian participants may be required, in Sponsor’s sole discretion, to provide proof of a permanent address, business location(s) and/or registration (as applicable) outside of Quebec for verification purposes. In addition, residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sudan are not eligible to participate. This Contest is void in these countries and where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Registration for the Webinar and Q&A with expert pitch coach John Bates and Skild Outreach Director, Ian Murphy December 14th, 2021 10 am to 11 am PT

These sessions are not required, and are designed to be a productive and positive conversation about the competition and provide insight and best practices for a winning pitch video. Check out the video on the registration link, below, to see John Bates break down the video from last year's Grand Prize Winner ZzappMalaria! Webinars are live on Webex, and you are welcome to invite any colleagues to join. A recorded version of the webinar will be emailed to all registrants afterward.

Register: https://www.skild.com/cisco-gps-challenge-2022-info-qa-webinar-registration?__hstc=26211170.29c9e087399fcf4e0f709057343df98d.1638951097535.1638951097535.1638951097535.1&__hssc=26211170.1.1638951097535&__hsfp=897295016&_ga=2.86805720.1588936897.1638951096-1781648715.1638951096&_gl=1*q7uk6p*_ga*MTc4MTY0ODcxNS4xNjM4OTUxMDk2*_ga_021R85JEND*MTYzODk1MTA5Ni4xLjEuMTYzODk1MTg2MS4zNw.

In addition, applicants may schedule a Webex session with a Challenge representative:
https://app.hubspot.com/meetings/ian145/cisco-global-problem-solver-challenge?__hstc=26211170.29c9e087399fcf4e0f709057343df98d.1638951097535.1638951097535.1638951097535.1&__hssc=26211170.7.1638951097535&__hsfp=897295016

Pre-Application Information:

Applications Open Now Through February 11, 2022 at 5 pm PT

Timeline;
- Applications Open: November 30, 2021, 10:00 am
- Applications Close Feb 11 at 5 pm PT: February 11, 2022, 5:00 pm
- Semi-Finalists Invited to Submit: April 26, 2022, 10:00 am
- Semi-Finalist Submissions Close May 20 at 5 pm PT: May 20, 2022, 5:00 pm
- Finalists Announced and People's Choice Voting Opens: July 5, 2022, 10:00 am
- People's Choice Voting Closes: July 29, 2022, 5:00 pm
- Winners Announced: August 23, 2022, 10:00 am

For additional information on the above timeline, see: https://cisco.innovationchallenge.com/cisco-global-problem-solver-challenge-2022/rules

Participants may only submit one Entry. All Entries must be submitted in English.

How to Participate: https://cisco.innovationchallenge.com/cisco-global-problem-solver-challenge-2022/how-to-participate

Resources: https://cisco.innovationchallenge.com/cisco-global-problem-solver-challenge-2022/resources

FAQs: https://cisco.innovationchallenge.com/cisco-global-problem-solver-challenge-2022/faqs

Prizes: https://cisco.innovationchallenge.com/cisco-global-problem-solver-challenge-2022/prizes

Rules: https://cisco.innovationchallenge.com/cisco-global-problem-solver-challenge-2022/rules

Toolkit: https://cisco.innovationchallenge.com/cisco-global-problem-solver-challenge-2022/toolkit

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register: https://gps2022.skild.com/skild2/gps2022/registerLeader.action?__hstc=26211170.29c9e087399fcf4e0f709057343df98d.1638951097535.1638951097535.1638951097535.1&__hssc=26211170.1.1638951097535&__hsfp=897295016&_ga=2.243253442.1588936897.1638951096-1781648715.1638951096&_gl=1*16lfuyd*_ga*MTc4MTY0ODcxNS4xNjM4OTUxMDk2*_ga_021R85JEND*MTYzODk1MTA5Ni4xLjEuMTYzODk1MTE0NS4xMQ..

If you have any questions, please email cisco@innovationchallenge.com.

Cisco Systems, Inc.
170 West Tasman Drive
San Jose, CA 95134 USA

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

Israel

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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