Cisco Systems has just launched a competition to find new, big ideas that could fuel the company's long term growth. The "I-Prize competition" is looking for IP-based innovations that have the potential to earn this networking giant at least $1 billion over five to seven years.
The grand prize? The opportunity to join Cisco as a founder of a new emerging-technology business unit. Cisco says it is prepared to invest up to $10 million in this new unit.
While this is certainly a contest, it's also more than that. It's also an outreach program that expands on Cisco's many existing 'open innovation' initiatives already underway. And there's nothing like a good healthy dose of competition to motivate entrepreneurial minds. Cisco is also encouraging collaboration among contestants and the submissions are there for anyone to review and vote upon.
I think this is an interesting approach to open innovation and collaboration, but of course not everyone agrees. One comment at the end of the article asks something along the lines of: "why the heck would I give you my one billion dollar idea?!"
What do you think?