CISCO Global Problem Solver Challenge 2020 – $100,000 Grand Prize

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. As part of their work, they seek 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 – and Cisco global challenge is here to help.

Judging Criteria

All Entries that meet the eligibility criteria for the Contest and do not otherwise violate any terms and conditions of the Contest, as solely determined by Sponsor, will advance to Judging Round One.

For Judging Round One, Judging Round Two, and Judging Round Three, the Judging Panel will make their selection based on the content of the Entries and using the following criteria:

  1. Innovative Internet of Things (IoT) or digital technology aspect of solution: How innovative is the solution in its use of new or existing technology to solve a local or global problem? Are there other solutions available and if so, how does this differentiate from them? (33%)
  2. Feasibility: How feasible is the solution to put into practice? Does the solution make sense financially? Will the solution be sustainable over the long term? (24%)
  3. Impact: What is the scale of potential social impact? How broad is the impact? How many people will the solution reach? How significant is the impact? (33%)
  4. Clarity: How well does the participant articulate his/her solution and the potential impact it will have on society? (10%)




The winners will receive the following prizes.

  • One (1) Grand Prize of $100,000 USD
  • One (1) Second Place Prize of $75,000 USD
  • Three (3) Third Place Prizes of $25,000 USD each
  • Four (4) Fourth Place Prizes of $10,000 USD each
  • One (1) People’s Choice Award of $10,000 USD
  • One (1) India Impact Grant Prize of $25,000 USD
  • Two (2) India Impact Runners Up of $10,000 USD
  • One (1) India Impact People’s Choice Award of $5,000 USD


The applicants are required to meet the following eligibility requirements.

  • Aged 18 or older
  • For participants to be eligible, at least half of the team’s members must be students currently enrolled at a post-secondary institution or have received a degree after March 1, 2018.
  • If entering as a business entity, at least 25% of the business must be owned by individuals that meet the above qualifications. Individual students and recent grads may also apply.
  • For the India Impact Grand Prize, India Impact Runners Up prizes, and India Impact People’s Choice award the individual/ a minimum of fifty percent (50%) of the individual members comprising a team must be a current student at any Indian post-secondary institution, or recent graduates who completed a post-secondary degree at an Indian post-secondary institution after March 1, 2018.
  • 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.)

Eligible Regions: Open for all

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