Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2018 for Students & Recent Grads ($300,000 in Prizes)

Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2018 for Students & Recent Grads ($300,000 in Prizes)

Deadline: January 12, 2018

Calling Students and Recent Grads! How can your innovative technology solution solve the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems? Enter the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2018 with $300,000 in Prizes.

The second annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge aims to recognize new innovative solutions that leverage technology for social impact from student entrepreneurs around the world. It 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. The Challenge is open to students and recent alumni from any college or university.

The Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2018 is offering $300,000 split among 10 prizes. One $100,000 prize, one $75,000 prize, three $25,000 prizes, and five $10,000 prizes. The prize money will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development and/or solve social or environmental problems.


  • $100,000 USD Grand Prize: A single team will be designated the grand prize winner.
  • $75,000 USD First Runner Up: A single team will be designated first runner up.
  • $25,000 USD Second Runners Up: Three teams will receive $25,000 USD each.
  • $10,000 USD Third Runners Up: Four teams will be designated the Third Runners Up and will receive $10,000 USD each.
  • $10,000 USD People’s Choice: The finalist entry that receives the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award

In addition to a cash infusion to develop your solution, it will be reviewed by Cisco technology experts and high-profile judges. You’ll receive peer and industry validation for your solution, as well as have a great opportunity for global recognition and publicity.


  • Any current student in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, or a graduate from a post-secondary institution that received his/her degree on or after March 1, 2016 is eligible.
  • Your solution must use digital technology to positively impact society or the environment, consider entering. Areas of impact include, but are not limited to, critical human needs like water or food security, healthcare, financial inclusion, education, accessibility, and the environment.
  • All must be submitted in English,

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, 2016.
  • 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.

Eligible solutions (technologies, products or services) must:

  • Incorporate IoT/digitization 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.)

NOTE: This Contest is not open to individuals in the province of Quebec in Canada. In addition, residents of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Sudan are not eligible to participate.

Judging Criteria

The judging panel will make their selection based on the content of the submissions and using the following criteria:

  • 1. Innovative Digitization/IoT 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 your solution reach? How significant is the impact? (33%)
  • 4. Clarity: How well do you articulate your solution and the potential impact it will have on society? (10%)


  • For detailed eligibility requirements, please visit the Rules page.
  • To prepare your submission you will need to complete an online questionnaire.
  • Once you are ready, click here to register (or log in) and prepare your submission.

For more information, visit Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge.