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Cisco unveils new grants to help start-ups develop apps

RAPTOR funded by the Technology Strategy Board as part of the BIG initiative

A new small grants programme is launching this week to support UK entrepreneurs develop their own location-based apps. RAPTOR, which is funded as part of the Technology Strategy Board‘s central R&D programme, is to be launched by Infusion in partnership with Cisco, as a new component in Cisco’s Big Innovation Gateway (BIG) initiative. The grant packages will include cash, mentoring, and access to both state-of-the-art technology and an exclusive test and development space – not to mention significant marketing opportunities. The launch forms part of the BIG initiative’s five-year mission to foster a UK environment in which digital start-ups can flourish, through investment of cash, technology and human resources. RAPTOR aims to break the stigma around start-up involvement in open innovation, by encouraging cooperation via a shared application platform, to earn revenue. Three groups of five grants will be awarded to entrepreneurs with an idea which is based on a network-based or cloud-based technology solution for either retail, transport or the urban environment, over the next 12 months. Applications will be accepted from 5-30 September. Rod Halstead, MD of public sector at Cisco, said: “By nurturing today’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, we are encouraging the development of the innovators and tech leaders of tomorrow. “With projects like RAPTOR we aim to continue the legacy of technology success stories and ultimately build a brilliant future for Britain.” Next week also sees the final of Cisco’s annual BIG Awards, for which a Startups 100 business of 2008, Parkatmyhouse.com has been shortlisted. For more information on the scheme or to apply, visit the RAPTOR website

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