This sponsored post is produced by Maciej Kranz, Vice President of Corporate Technology Group, Cisco. 

Fact: There are currently 1.5 devices for every human being on the planet. All over the world, sensors, smart objects, and other devices are connecting through the reach and power of the Internet.  New places, such as manufacturing floors, energy grids, healthcare facilities, and transportation systems, are also being connected through the power of the Internet.

And they’re dynamically generating, analyzing, and communicating intelligence to increase operational efficiency, power new business models, and improve quality of life. Connecting the unconnected is the Internet of Things (IoT).

Today, more than 99 percent of things in the physical world are still not connected to the Internet. Many analysts are predicting the world will reach 50 billion connected devices by 2020. There is a lot of work to be done!

Accelerate the Adoption of IoT

As an entrepreneur, you can contribute to the growth and evolution of the Internet of Things. You can help change the world by inventing things, building things, and solving problems. And with the Cisco IoT Innovation Grand Challenge, you can even win cash awards.

Not sure if your killer idea, application, or product falls under the IoT umbrella? IoT crosses many technology categories (applications and application enablement, analytics, management, networking of things) and touches many vertical industries (education, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, oil and gas, retail, smart cities, sports and entertainment, transportation, etc.)  Here are a few quick ideas and examples to think about.

Applications & application enablement

  • Applications running on handheld mobile devices or edge devices (in addition to cloud and desktop applications).
  • Application support for data acquisition and modelling, event management, workflow, policy and rules, and integration.
  • Application orchestration, runtime, lifecycle management, and marketplaces and app exchanges with federated identity for seamless cross-domain transactions are some of the key elements in this category.


  • Draw valuable, actionable insights from colossal amounts of data.
  • Find nuggets of wisdom with a very low resource footprint (memory, CPU, network) and with low latency (in almost-real time).
  • Discover creative, small footprint, resource-efficient algorithms, techniques, and architectures to find actionable insights dispersed inside huge amounts of data.


The network infrastructure is the glue that holds diverse entities in IoT together. There are a number of connectivity solutions, both legacy- and IP based, prevalent in the field. Ideas around self-organizing topologies, resilient services, intelligent discovery, gateways, and routing mechanisms would be highly valuable.


  • Sensors and device management coupled with traditional network, element, and service management at a scale never seen before.
  • What are some of the best practices to automate and orchestrate massive IoT networks in a secure fashion?
  • What kind of API, security, and interoperability solutions are required to be discovered to effectively manage complex interconnected networks of heterogeneous protocols, compute, and storage models?


Connecting the previously unconnected devices, clients, agents, sensors, and controls is one of the biggest challenges the industry faces. The Things category includes:

  • Devices, clients, agents, sensors, controls, and gateways connected to legacy and IP networks.
  • Extending lifespan of low-cost devices distributed in remote locations through creative energy harvesting.
  • Simplified end-user-exercisable APIs, SDKs, and developer eco-systems

Ready to cash in on IoT?

Make your killer idea, application, or product pay off by entering the Cisco IoT Innovation Grand Challenge, a global open competition created to recognize, promote and reward innovators, entrepreneurs and early-stage startups that can accelerate the adoption of IoT.

Three winners of the IoT Innovation Grand Challenge will share $250,000 US in prize money that can be used to jumpstart new and existing businesses contributing to the Internet of Things industry.

Six finalists will be invited to the 2014 Internet of Things World Forum, an exclusive annual event that will be held in Chicago, October 14-16.  The finalists will have an opportunity to demonstrate their innovations on the convention show floor and to pitch their ideas to the best and brightest thinkers, practitioners, and innovators in the industry.  Three final winners will be announced at the IoT World Forum on center stage!

Don’t miss this once-in-life-time opportunity to enter the Cisco IoT Innovation Grand Challenge. But hurry!  Submissions close July 1, 2014.

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