Cisco-VNI Service Awards (Recognizing Innovation in Connecting the Unconnected): $10,000 for the five Most Innovative Stories.


Challenge Ends : May 10, 2013

A total of $10,000 will be awarded to the five most innovative stories. Submit your story by May 10, 2013 to be eligible.

This program seeks to recognize organizations and individuals who have either created applications or solutions, or are end-users of these same communication services and solutions. Cisco is looking to acknowledge leadership and excellence in creating technology-driven services that serve a variety of markets. These could be used to support healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing or other sectors.

The “Transforming Lives Through Communication Technologies” Challenge by CISCO gives you the chance to share your story on how you are using ICTs for social change and creating economic opportunities.

By combining the power of entrepreneurship and the broad reach of communication technologies, amazing solutions can be developed to connect everyone everywhere.

Who can participate?

This program is open to the public, anyone can participate. Any individual or organization who has built or used communication services to create a service or solution to connect with their clients is eligible to share their success. For details on program participation, refer to the Terms and Conditions.

What are the rewards?

A total of USD $10,000 in cash will be awarded to the top five finalists. First prize is $5000, second prize is $2000, and three finalists will each receive $1000. All submissions will also benefit from promotions through Cisco social media channels. This will help build awareness about your work to a larger audience, and encourage others to share their own stories.


How are winners determined?

The winning stories will be judged on factors such as creativity, resourcefulness, impact and leadership. Other elements such as likelihood of long term success will be considered.  Providing specific details on how a given solution benefited individuals or the community would create a stronger story. For details on the judging criteria, refer to the Terms and Conditions.

Each story will be ranked by audience participation, and the formal judging panel. Audience participation contributes 40% of the overall score and is determined by the number of comments and replies, and sharing of stories. The remaining 60% will be determined by the judging panel.

The judging panel will base their ranking on creativity, resourcefulness, impact and leadership. Other elements such as likelihood of long term success will also be considered.

Sharing Your Story

How do I submit my story?

You will first need to register and provide basic identifying information. This information will only be used by the judging panel or program administrators to contact you in case they have questions.

Go to the Prepare Your Story page to get a detailed checklist of how to participate in this competition. You can download a copy of the questionnaire (Word file) to complete offline. Use this as a template to answer the five essay questions. We recommend that you include as much supporting information as you can including photos, links to videos, user quotes, statistics, etc. Inspire others to feel as energized and excited about your great work as you do. Have fun with it.

Once a story is submitted it will be held in a moderation queue for up to 24 hours. During that time we will review it for completeness and contact you if we have any questions. Your story will be made public after this initial review period. You can  continue to make edits after it goes public by logging into this site and editing  your story.

Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your story. The earlier you get it in, the more we can help promote your work and share your success with others.


Can I submit more than one story?
Yes you can, however only one story can be selected as a winner.

Can I submit a photo or video?

Yes, you can include a photo or video when you submit your story. For videos, you should use the video’s embed code (from YouTube, for example) and include it with your submission entry. Do not upload the actual video file. We want to encourage adding photos or videos to your essay question answers. You can also add these after you’ve submitted your entry. If you have any problems, please contact us at [email protected] and we will help you.

Can I upload files to support my entry?

Yes you can also include a file such as Word or PowerPoint to your award submission. It is better to include a URL to the file (if it’s on a site such as Slideshare), but you can also upload the actual file. You would do this as part of the answer to one of the essay questions. You can also add these after you’ve submitted your entry. If you have any problems, please contact us at [email protected] and we will help you.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Send an email to [email protected]

Visit to share your story, and get inspired by others. Answer four essay questions about how you have used these services or devices. You could be one of five winners sharing a total prize pool of $10,000. A panel of judges will select the top five entries based on qualities such as creativity, resourcefulness, impact and leadership.



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