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Cisco University Challenge

31st October - 1st November 2019

Bedfont Lakes Middlesex, United Kingdom

  • Date:31st October - 1st November 2019
    Time: 8:30am
  • Location:Bedfont Lakes
    United Kingdom
  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Attendance: In Person
  • Fee: No Charge


Cisco University Challenge

Welcome to the Cisco University Challenge! This is an annual event that gathers over 70 students from the top universities in the UK&I to compete against each other in a two day hackathon. We use the University Challenge to showcase Cisco's future technologies, including the Internet of Everything (IoE) and our new Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA). We invite you to come to experience the true Cisco culture and embrace the chance of being able to explore our exciting job opportunities here at Cisco.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of Cisco’s key objectives that makes it one of the best places to work. For this year’s University Challenge, we have partnered up with Crisis - a charity that works to end homelessness. You will be leveraging Cisco technologies to try and come up with an innovative solution that could be used by Crisis in their efforts.

Overview of Devnet

Cisco University Challenge will provide you with an introduction to Cisco's DevNet. DevNet is the Developer Program from Cisco, providing tools that help you to produce Cisco-enabled applications to sell to Cisco customers, and/or use Cisco APIs to enhance or manage your existing Cisco network https://developer.cisco.com/site/devnet/home/index.gsp


Be aware that the challenge is a 24hr+ event, which takes place through the night. We encourage you to bring your sleeping bags and other items of comfort.

This is a long demanding challenge, we advise against participants driving to the event. Participants should leverage public transport or taxi services when departing. Universities outside of Greater London (M25) will be able to partially expense economy-class public transport (receipts necessary).


Each university team is to be composed of five people aligned to the following roles.

  • 3x Software Engineer

    Expected to build a working Proof of Concept prototype.

  • Project Manager

    Expected to comprehensively plan team schedule and direction, assign group tasks, create and showcase presentations and ensure team objectives are fulfilled.

  • Business Analyst

    Expected to determine the enterprise level use-cases, road to market, business verticals and sales strategy.


Innovate. Develop. Share.

For social media content from previous events please see #CiscoUC14, #CiscoUC15, #CiscoUC16, and #CiscoUC17


Battle your wits against the best universities across the United Kingdom and Ireland during an intense 24 hour event.


Work alongside Cisco’s thought leaders to build next-generation technology solutions that tackle real-world business challenges.


Have your solutions reviewed by some of Cisco’s most successful thought leaders and subject matter experts against a thorough set of professional and technical criteria.


Experience live keynotes with Cisco leadership and develop an understanding of industry trends.


Build connections with a diverse group of academic peers and industry experts.


Compete to win gadgets, prizes and fame!


Tackle the challenges in an immersive and competitive environment.


The University Challenge will be showcased through our global social media channels.

How To Enter?

Cisco will review all registrations. If we receive registrations for than the required number of students to complete a team for your university, we will select students based on their skills and experience to attend the event. You will hear from us no later than 2 weeks before the event to let you know if we have accepted your registration or not.

To qualify for The Cisco University Challenge you must be:

  • A current student in their 1st, 2nd, penultimate or final year who has a passion for technology and business.
  • Be on track for at least an upper second class degree (2:1).
  • Be a UK or Republic of Ireland citizen or hold the right to live and work in the UK/Ireland without sponsorship.
  • Hit the Register Now button




Q: How can I get in touch?

A:You can reach us by email at university-challenge@cisco.com

Q: How many of us can be in a team?

A: You can form a team of up to five students in total.


Q: I am a first year university student; can I still enter the competition?

A: Yes, the competition is open to all year groups.


Q: I have recently graduated; can I compete?

A: Unfortunately, the competition is only open to students who are currently enrolled to study for a degree during the year 2019/20.


Q: Do I need a degree in Computer Science or Engineering to compete?

A: No, this competition is open to all degree disciplines and we recommend forming a team with mixed degree backgrounds to bring different perspectives to the project.


Q: Can I form a team with students from a different university?

A: No, all team members need to be enrolled at the same university.


Q: I am studying at a university outside the UK & Ireland; can I enter the UK & Ireland competition?

A: No, unfortunately you need to be enrolled at a UK&I university to enter the UK competition.


Q: Is our project protected? What about intellectual property?

A: Yes, we guarantee that your project is your own and your idea will not be used for Cisco’s purposes.


Q: My university is not listed when I am applying, why can’t I see it?

A: You can still apply for the Cisco University Challenge using the "Other" option on the registration form.

Q: How much can I expense for travel?

A:In order to be eligible to reclaim you travel costs, you will need to retain your original receipts. In the event you are driving, take a picture of the odometer at the beginning and end of the journey. After the event, you will be contacted by our expenses team who will request receipts from you. It will take up to 4 weeks from the point of submission for your expenses to be paid to your nominated bank account.

Accommodation Maximum Expense Amount Per Student
Tier 1 £20.00
Tier 2 £50.00
Tier 3 £70.00
Tier 4 £100.00
Tier 5 £150.00
Tier 6 £200.00

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Tier 4

Tier 5

Tier 6












Royal Holloway





London Met




London City




Brunel University London




If your University is not listed, we will inform you of what tier you will be applied to according to your location. Please note that if you need to spend more than the maximum amount please email our mailer university-challenge@cisco.com and request special circumstances with an explanation.


Learn & explore new capabilities

Date Time Sessions
Thursday 31st October    
  08:30am - 09:25am Registration Opens
  09:25am - 09:30am Participants to be Seated
  09:30am - Approx 12:00pm Speaker Sessions Commence
  Approx 12:00pm Challenge Begins
Friday 1st November    
  Approx 09:00am Judging Begins
  Approx 11:30am On Stage Presentations Begin
  Approx 01:00pm Winner Announced and Event Close

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Please read the terms and entry requirements carefully as Cisco will only consider submissions and presentations which conform to these rules.

By entering this competition, all Teams and Team members agree to accept and be bound by these terms and conditions.

All entrants must be university students. Entries must not be in breach of any third party right and must be the entering Team's undisputed work.

Entrants must acquire the written consent of any relevant rights owner in respect of their entries. The winning Team will be required to co-operate fully with Cisco in connection with any promotion or publicity of the competition or future competitions.

Events may occur that render the occurrence of any part of the competition impossible due to reasons beyond the control of Cisco and Cisco may, at its absolute discretion, vary, amend, suspend or withdraw the competition with or without notice.

Cisco reserves the right to exclude a Team in the event that any Team or its Team members bring the competition or any element of it or Cisco or any other party connected with the competition into disrepute.

These Terms and Conditions are subject to the Laws of England and Wales and to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts for the purposes of Teams from UK universities.

Increasing employability is one of the aims of the competition and by entering this competition you consent to allow Cisco to contact you in relation to any employment opportunities they deem appropriate.

Previous Participants

Last year’s challenge participants who received an offer

  • Sponsor 1

    Debankur Ghosh

    Software Engineer at GIS Directory Services
    UCL, Electrical Engineering

    “The Cisco University Challenge provided me with great insight about the kind of the work that takes place at Cisco. The challenges that were presented showed me the amazing culture of work at Cisco. Interacting with all the talented employees convinced me that this was the place for me.“

  • Sponsor 1

    Thomas Bailey

    Software Engineer for the Apps & Services Factory team.
    University of Bath, Computer Science

    “The Cisco University Challenge was a great opportunity to test my team skills on a real world problem. Our software engineering and presentation skills were pushed to extremes to create a prototype and viable business strategy in the time given. It was an experience unlike any that my university could provide and has complemented my CV very well.“

  • Sponsor 1

    Aurimas Songaila

    Software Engineer at CTAO.
    UCL, BSc Information Management for Business

    “Participating in Cisco University Challenge 2014 was an eye opening experience that allowed me to familiarize with Cisco’s culture and the opportunities that Cisco provides to its employees. Reflecting back at my time in the challenge I can draw many similarities to my current job here, where we get real life problems that we need to solve with the latest Cisco technologies in a strict and timely manner.“



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