Cisco BIG Awards names its 20 start-up semi-finalists

Companies set to compete for prize package worth $200,000

Cisco this week released the names of 20 high-potential UK start-ups to have made the semi-finals of the technology company’s second annual BIG Awards.

The companies in with a chance of succeeding last year’s winner, fashion-oriented digital search engine Snap Fashion, were identified for their potential to tackle technology challenges in Big Data, collaboration, the Internet of Things, and Mobility.

After receiving votes from the Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) community, two start-ups, Movellas Ltd and TringLocal, were automatically selected to go through to the semi-finals.

Joining them are the likes of classified ads search engine technology Adzuna, digital health self-management platform uMotif, and cooking-based app Whisk.com, which was started by The Apprentice finalist Nick Holzherr and co-founder Craig Edmunds.

The full list and categories is:

Big Data

  • Adzuna
  • DataBarter
  • Presence Aware Tech
  • Intern Avenue
  • iWaz.at
  • EnergyDeck
  • Whisk.com
  • Actual Experience

Internet of Things

  • uMotif
  • BleepBleeps
  • Smartzer
  • Tictrac
  • SupaDupa
  • Zovolt Ltd
  • Sleepio Ltd

Collaboration

  • Movellas Ltd
  • OpenPlan
  • Lutebox

Mobility

  • Bounts Ltd
  • TringLocal

Judges will select six finalists on October 1, with the final taking place on November 14, with the finalists presenting their business plans live to the judging panel.

The winner will receive a 12-month package of mentoring and advice from Cisco, talent management specialists Right Management, law firm Bird & Bird, marketing agency DNX, and communications agency Octopus.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland, told Startups.co.uk the purpose of the initiative’s mentoring programme is to foster innovation and talent: “It’s not just about how good the technology is, it’s as much about working out how to execute, being smart about partnering, and clear about what they want investors to do.

“Learning the difference between a business plan and an investment plan is part of the evolution these companies go through.”

Snap Fashion founder and CEO Jenny Griffiths, who won the prize in 2012 said “I’ve never learnt so much in my life.

“I launched Snap Fashion a day before the finals and went from a few downloads to learning how to hire the best, attract talent, and secure investment.”

Griffiths is now in the process of closing a Series A round of investment from a syndicate of venture capital and private investors.

Talking about 2013’s semi-finalists, Smith said: “The calibre of the entries has been outstanding and reflects just a snapshot of great British technological ingenuity.

“In these 20 semi-finalists I believe we have found some of the nation’s rising stars.”

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