In a bid to support our prime minister’s dream project Start up India, US-based global technology firm Cisco unveiled LaunchPad, an initiative to accelerate startups and support growth among India’s young developer community.

Cisco LaunchPad is a one of a kind platform that brings together Cisco technologies, startups, and the partner/developer community to deliver business relevant end-to-end Digital Solutions. LaunchPad is more than an Accelerator it’s an opportunity to be part of an innovation ecosystem. In addition to technology and business mentorship, LaunchPad offers startups a worldwide Go-To-Market engine to validate and scale innovative ideas.

Through LaunchPad, the startups will get to work with experts and solve real business problems by catering to use cases that are validated and identified by Cisco Go-To Market teams.

Cisco believes that an ecosystem of several entities like companies, partners, developers and startups, driven by use case and business outcome oriented approach, is critical to harness the complete potential of digitization. Cisco LaunchPad is launched with support of Startups Partners Initiative.

Cisco LaunchPad

Cisco LaunchPad will identify early and late stage startups and partner communities in Analytics, Telemetry, Cloud, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Security, Smart Things, and in many more cutting edge tech domains and help them in their entrepreneurial journey of transforming into value generating organizations.

Cisco LaunchPad will provide access to a wide gamut of resources to startups:

  • Mentorship Internal Cisco Mentors (Principal/Distinguished Engineers) and External Experts will bring in immense industry experience and subject matter expertise, and will guide startups on product and technology
  • Grants USD 8K grant will be provided upon graduation. Additional USD 500 per month will be provided to support the IT needs of startups
  • Co-working Space A world-class co-working space in the Cisco campus will ensure that startups get the right kind of environment to work and interact with others
  • Technology Support Startups will have access to industry-leading Cisco technology platforms in Networking, Security, Cloud, IoT, and Collaboration as well.
  • Investor Connects Interactions with the Angel investor and Venture Capital community will give startups the right direction to fuel their growth story
  • Customer Access Startups will get access to Cisco events and some customers for PoC / demo on a case-to-case basis
  • Business Support Services Startups will get assistance with support services like Legal, Tax/Finance, IT, Marketing/Communication, and HR
  • Validated Use Cases -Startups will help address use cases and business problems that have been validated by Cisco Go-To-Market (GTM) teams, ensuring a strong product-market fit
  • Worldwide Go-To-Market (GTM) -Ciscos GTM teams will enable startups with disruptive innovations to access global markets.

Website link : http://www.cisco.com/in/launchpad/

Twitter link : Cisco LaunchPad

India is the youngest start-up and developer nation in the world with 72 per cent of the founders less than 35 years old and the average developer less than 29 years old. India is projected to have the world’s largest number of developers by 2018.

“The target of such innovative solutions will be to help digitize the next three billion people and will initially focus on manufacturing, retail, transportation, education and healthcare.The LaunchPad programme will focus on innovation and monetization opportunities in these industries and help unlock new markets, Cisco President, Engineering and India Site Leader Amit Phadnis.

Amit Phadnis

Cisco has also partnered with Tech Mahindra to co-develop digital solutions for Indian electric utilities. Cisco and Tech Mahindra will also work with select start-ups and developers to accelerate digitization of the power sector and transform the way electricity is delivered and used by people.

The US-based firm already runs Country Digitization Acceleration and Cisco Investment programs in India. It has already committed USD 280 million to boosting the Indian start-up ecosystem.

Cisco LaunchPad is open to early-stage technology and technology-enabled startups. The program focuses on Cisco’s core technology areas: Networking and Infrastructure, Collaboration, Security, IoT, and Video. Additionally, enabling technologies like Analytics, Cloud, Machine Learning/Deep Learning/Natural Language Processing, Visualization/UX, Virtual Reality, Smart Things, and Last Mile Connectivity are also in focus.4-6 startups are selected for each cohort. The cohort runs for four months.

“Through ‘LaunchPad’, we want to unleash the next generation of disruptive ideas” – Amit Phadnis

Startups can apply online. The applications are evaluated and shortlisted applicants are invited for a face-to-face pitch session with Cisco leadership. The final selection is based on the strength of the business idea/plan, team capabilities, and relevance to the focus areas. The application deadline is July 22, 2016. Cohort starts by Sep 7, 2016 and the demo day is Jan 11, 2017.

Do visit Cisco LaunchPadwebsite to find out more about LaunchPad and to find out more on an opportunity to apply to this program.