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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
Complete and submit the Cisco EIR online application.
How does Cisco EIR fit into Cisco’s overall investment strategy?
Cisco EIR extends Cisco’s investment strategy by leveraging breakthrough innovation to grow early-stage companies. Together, Cisco EIR and Cisco Investments offer startups a continuum of strategic funding and collaboration opportunities from Cisco.
How does the selection process work?
Between five to ten companies will be selected for each cohort. Qualified startups are evaluated through a rigorous multi-phase selection process that evaluates the viability of their business plans, the merits and competitive differentiation of their technology, the strength of their teams and their alignment with Cisco’s strategic focus. Select finalists present their technology and company to a panel of Cisco executives and technology experts.
How is Cisco EIR different from other accelerators/incubators?
A key differentiator is our focus on developing long-term strategic relationships between Cisco and each of our participating startups. We view our 6-month program as the beginning of a relationship. Each startup in EIR Is paired with a Cisco executive sponsor – and the executive acts as the lead advocate to (1) enable the entrepreneur to partner with the right Cisco team(s), (2) help drive technology and market validation and (3) get the idea significant internal and external traction.
What benefits will participating entrepreneurs receive?
Startups selected for Cisco EIR receive the tools and resources necessary to help them succeed. Example program benefits: Financial support and potential strategic funding Co-working space Introductions to VCs Speakers, panels and networking events PR and marketing support
What is the Cisco EIR program?
Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR) is a startup program for early-stage entrepreneurs and companies who are building game-changing products in Cisco’s strategic areas (see “Who Should Apply to Cisco EIR” below). The program provides resources, mentoring and opportunities to collaborate with Cisco and our partners through a six-month program. Selected companies will receive resources from Cisco, potential opportunities to partner with Cisco teams and support from Cisco’s global ecosystem. Companies may collaborate with Cisco on technology development, product integration and business development.
Where is Cisco EIR located?
Entrepreneurs can apply to join Cisco EIR at either our Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) or European (Vienna, Austria) locations. Cisco EIR is also available through joint-incubation programs with one of our regional partners: Chicago Innovation Exchange – Chicago, Illinois (CiscoEIR@CIE) EvoNexus – San Diego, California (CiscoEIR@EvoNexus) Entrepreneurs joining the joint-incubation programs will enjoy all the same core benefits of Cisco EIR as well as the support and resources of our local partners.
Who should apply to Cisco EIR?
Cisco EIR is designed for early-stage companies (pre-Series A) building solutions for the Internet of Everything / Things (IoE/IoT), Big Data/analytics , Smart Cities , Enterprise Mobility and Security. We want entrepreneurs who will bring amazing product ideas, a top-notch technical team, a solid business plan and a passion to build something that will transform our industry. Minimum requirements to be considered for Cisco EIR: Be passionate founder(s) with a strong technical track record Be innovating in one of the technologies strategic to Cisco Have a core team in place with the technical and business skills to execute on your product vision Have a working demo or prototype Have pilot customers – or be ready for market trials Have key members of your team available to participate in person with program events, meetings and activities Be seeking active collaboration with Cisco
Why did Cisco launch an EIR program?
Cisco EIR is an example of Cisco’s “open innovation” strategy. Cisco EIR plays an especially important role in Cisco’s strategic push to catalyze the Internet of Everything market and provides an opportunity for Cisco to identify disruptive technologies early while forging strategic relationships with high-potential startups.