Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2020

Deadline: 17 January 2020
Open to: students and recent graduates
Award: USD 100,000 Grand Prize, USD 75,000 First Runner-Up, USD 25,000 Second Runners-Up


The Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2020 is a worldwide search for early-stage technology-enabled solutions and services that can enable economic development and/or benefit society and/or the environment. This competition is open to individuals and teams of students or 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 our 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 we’re here to help.

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.


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 detailed eligibility requirements, please click here.

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.).


USD350,000 in prize money will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development and/or solve social or environmental problems. The prizes are divided as:

  • USD 100,000 Grand Prize – a single team will be designated the grand prize winner.
  • USD 75,000 First Runner-Up – a single team will be designated, first runner
  • USD 25,000 Second Runners-Up – three teams will be designated the second runners-up and will receive $25,000 USD each.
  • USD 10,000 Third Runners-Up – four teams will be designated the third runners-up and will receive $10,000 USD each.
  • USD 10,000 People’s Choice – the finalist entry that receives the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award.

How to apply?

If you want to apply, click here to register.

For more information, please visit the official web page.