For the sixth consecutive year, Cisco has launched its Global Problem Solver Challenge — powered by Skild.
One of Cisco’s signature Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, the Challenge will award $1 million in cash prizes to early-stage tech entrepreneurs who are addressing some of our toughest social and environmental problems.
Created in 2016 to jumpstart innovative ideas that benefit society, catalyze economic growth, and create jobs, the Challenge has awarded $2.25 million USD to 63 start-ups in 20 countries.
This year, in response to the growing urgency to reverse climate change, Cisco is introducing five new prizes:
- $100,000 USD Climate Impact and Regeneration Prize
- $50,000 USD Climate Impact and Regeneration Prize Runners-Up (x4)
These prizes will go to teams with solutions that can reduce or remove greenhouse gas (GHG) from the environment or regenerate depleted ecosystems.
The concept of “regenerative sustainability” is becoming increasingly important to stopping the progression of climate change. These solutions focus on improving social and ecological systems, which will in turn help to restore the planet. Composting is one familiar example of regeneration, because the organic materials used in compost pull carbon out of the atmosphere, versus emitting methane if they were simply thrown away into a landfill.
Playing a role in addressing climate change is a priority for Cisco, reflected in our recent commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. We are excited about this opportunity to recognize five teams that share this commitment and are doing the important work of reducing emissions and regenerating ecosystems.
In addition to the five Climate Impact and Regeneration prizes, the following prizes will round out our $1M USD prize pool:
- $250,000 USD Grand Prize
- $75,000 USD Regional First Runners-Up (x3)
- $50,000 USD Second Runners-Up (x3)
- $50,000 USD Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Start-Up Prize
- $10,000 USD People’s Choice Award
- $15,000 USD Cisco Employees’ Choice Award