Cisco has announced the names of six start-up businesses that have made it through to the finals of the BIG Awards.
The finalists are: Shopitize (Big Data category), Six3 (Collaboration category), Nervecentre Software (Future Cities category), Digital Shadows (Internet of Things category) and ParkatmyHouse (Mobility category).
The sixth finalist, Snap Fashion, also falls into the Mobility category, and was voted for by the BIG Awards community through the 'Idea Market'.
The finalists now have 21 days to prepare for the final, which will take place on 12 September 2012 at Cisco House, overlooking the Olympic Park. There they will present their detailed business plans live to a judging panel, before the winner is chosen.
The overall winner will receive a total prize package of approximately $200,000 (£124,000), made up of £63,000 cash, 12 months of mentoring from Cisco, and a 12-month support package covering PR, marketing and legal services.
Runners-up and semi-finalists will also receive cash and support packages to accelerate the development of their brands and businesses.
“We truly believe the final six are each a testament to the thriving entrepreneurial community within the UK, and look forward to working with them and supporting them in developing their brands and ideas,” said Phil Smith, CEO Cisco UK and Ireland.
The BIG Awards are the latest development in Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway initiative, announced last year, designed to encourage the advancement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills, and give SMEs the opportunity to grow their businesses by connecting them with investors and other entrepreneurs.
The initiative is part of Cisco's Olympic legacy plans, which also involve setting up innovation centres around the country, equipped with Cisco’s own networking and collaboration technology.
These centres will form a public technology network known as the National Virtual Incubator (NVI), supported by the UK's education and research network Janet.