Cisco Announces LaunchPad to Accelerate the Innovation Ecosystem in India

Bengaluru, India, 30 June 2016: Cisco announced LaunchPad, an open innovation initiative to support startups and accelerate growth in India's developer community. Cisco LaunchPad is designed to help startups and developers scale their solutions, address new markets and build digital businesses. Cisco's finest teams will mentor startups and developers on how to connect the next three billion people by matching appealing ideas with business expertise and connecting engineering talent with investors and customers. Cisco will also provide a co-working place at the Bengaluru headquarters, access to a suite of Cisco technologies and equity free funding.

Amit Phadnis, President, Engineering and India Site Leader: "Imagine the innovation you will create when you provide global scale to the best ideas of the world's youngest startup nation and second biggest developer community. We have an unprecedented opportunity to digitize the next three billion people in one-third the time it took to connect the first three billion. Through Cisco LaunchPad we want to unleash the next generation of disruptive ideas and help turn the entrepreneurs of today into the business leaders of tomorrow." Home to more technology startups than any other Indian city, Bengaluru offers a powerful combination of talent, infrastructure as well as business, academic, and research expertise. India is the youngest startup and developer nation in the world with 72% of startup founders less than 35 years old and the average developer less than 29 years old. India is projected to have the world's largest number of developers by 2018. Cisco LaunchPad will involve a rigorous selection process based on the viability of applicants' business plans, the strength of their teams and their alignment with Cisco's digitization vision. The co-innovation solutions, targeted to help digitize the next three billion people, will be mainly in manufacturing, transportation, education and healthcare. The program will focus on the innovation and monetization opportunities in these industries and will help unlock new markets. The successful applicants will have unprecedented access to Cisco, the company's partner ecosystem and select customers. As an example of the powerful co-innovation possible through Cisco LaunchPad, Cisco & Tech Mahindra Limited announced a collaboration to develop digital solutions for the Indian electric utility / power industry. Cisco and Tech Mahindra will work with select startups and developers to accelerate digitization of the power sector and transform the way electricity is delivered to and used by people."

KS Vishwanathan, Vice President, NASSCOM: "Innovation and investment are the key drivers of the Indian economy, leading to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. India is a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent and Cisco LaunchPad will be a tremendous accelerator for startups to develop digital solutions that reach a global market."

L. Ravichandran, President and COO, Tech Mahindra: "Digitization is disrupting every industry and that is especially true in the energy sector. We are working closely with Cisco to bring the power of digitization to millions of people. Cisco LaunchPad is an excellent platform for Tech Mahindra to help solve some of the complex emerging market problems like the energy management, healthcare access and intelligent manufacturing We are also committed to the digital India and Make in India initiatives taken up by the Govt. of India."

Ravi Gururaj, Chair, Product Council & Member, Nasscom: "Cisco LaunchPad is a powerful example of how the world's leading companies can provide platforms that help startups and developer benefit from deep customer insights, locally relevant products and global scale. We look forward to seeing more such initiatives."