Introducing the 7th Annual Partner Innovation Challenge: Featuring an exciting new prize category
3 mins read

Introducing the 7th Annual Partner Innovation Challenge: Featuring an exciting new prize category

Cisco's 7th Annual Meeting Partner Innovation Challenge has risen to global fame, captivating partners from an astounding 96 countries and paying out over $3.3 million in collective rewards. Last year we saw a remarkable increase with a 68 percent increase in new partner submissions. This is proof that Cisco and our partners are greater together and that there is limitless creativity, expertise and passion in our technical partner community.

By leveraging Cisco's open platform, partners are able to leverage APIs and solutions and deliver significant value to customers while carving out their own market niche. At the core of Cisco's Partner Innovation Challenge is the mission to create unparalleled customer experiences through innovation, choice and exceptional people. Each year, this challenge unites us in a shared effort to address challenges, advance software innovation capabilities, and optimize business solutions and profitability on the Cisco platform.

Prizes await the visionaries

A distinguished panel of business and technical experts, consisting of Cisco employees and representatives, evaluates submissions based on innovation and creativity (30 points), technical performance (30 points), customer value (20 points), market potential (10 points ), as well as quality and presentation (10 points). The Partner Innovation Challenge offers significant rewards: Global Grand Prize ($200,000), Global 2nd Place ($100,000), and Global 3rd Place ($50,000). Additionally, APJC will award a total of $240,000, with $40,000 distributed to each of its six regional winners in ANZ, ASEAN, Greater China, India, Japan and Korea.

Expansion of prize categories and awards

Cisco partners can receive additional recognition and funding for their efforts. This year we are introducing a new awards category for Artificial Intelligence (AI), with prize money of $200,000. As AI continues to be a focus for partners and customers, Cisco recognizes those who leverage this technology to achieve impactful results. Notably, 41 percent of last year's submissions included AI, highlighting its importance in achieving desired results. The evaluation criteria for this category focus on innovation, impact, Cisco alignment, technical feasibility and scalability – each equally weighted with 20 points.

Last year it was Partnership with meaning The awards category saw overwhelming participation, with 88 percent of submissions falling within its purview. This underscores our partners' commitment to innovation that goes beyond profit and instead aims to have a lasting, positive impact on the world. In the Partnering for Purpose category, there is a $50,000 prize for the best innovation in environmental sustainability and $50,000 in the other categories: Digital Inclusion, Employee Experience and Economic Empowerment, and Crisis Response and Critical Human Needs .

Important data

All Partner Innovation Challenge submissions must be submitted by September 6, 2024. The assessment will be completed by October 6, 2024. Winners will be announced at the Partner Summit in Los Angeles, California on October 28th and 30th, 2024.

As partners continue to harness the transformative power of programmability to meet industry and customer needs, we look forward to seeing how these winners shape and evolve their breakthrough innovations. The Partner Innovation Challenge underscores our strong belief in the paramount importance of collaborating early in our journey with partners and customers to turn opportunities into reality.

For more information, see


We'd love to hear what you think. Ask a question, comment below, and stay connected on social using #CiscoPartners!

Cisco partner Facebook | @CiscoPartners X/Twitter | Cisco Partner LinkedIn

Share: