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Cisco Adds IoT, Analytics Startups to Entrepreneurs Program

Through the program, Cisco gives new companies support while also getting the chance to partner with promising young startups.

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Cisco Systems is adding several startups focusing on data analytics and the Internet of things to its Entrepreneurs in Resident program, which is designed to give new companies the support they need to get their products up and running.

Cisco has added six startups that are focusing on areas that the networking giant is keenly interested in. Cisco executives envision their company's technologies as being the infrastructure for the Internet of things (IoT), which will grow as the number of connected devices and systems increase. Cisco officials have said that there were 25 billion connected devices, systems and sensors in 2014 and that the number will grow to 50 billion by 2020. The vendor in 2013 created an IoT business unit.

According to Cisco, the IoT is part of the larger Internet of everything (IoE), which officials have said not only encompasses connected devices and systems, but also includes people and applications. CEO John Chambers has predicted that the IoE will mean as much as $19 trillion to businesses worldwide by the end of the decade.

Among the startups in Cisco's program are Plat.One, an Italian company that is developing a cloud-ready IoT and machine-to-machine application platform; Embedor Technologies, spun out of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Research Park that makes wireless smart sensors that monitor the health of civil engineering projects; Korlist, a San Diego-based company whose platform is designed to enable easier deployment of smart city solutions; and Preferred Networks from Japan, which brings machine learning and big data capabilities to IoE devices and networks.

On the analytics side, New York-based Measurence offers a mobile analytics and intelligence platform for businesses, and ParStream—with officials in California and Germany—is developing an analytics platform powered by parallel processing technologies and aimed at large-scale IoT solutions.

Over six months, the startups will get support from business groups inside of Cisco, access to working spaces and mentoring from industry experts. They also get to pitch their ideas to investors and partners.

In addition, the program offers benefits to Cisco, according to Mala Anand, senior vice president of Cisco Services Platform Group and executive sponsor of the entrepreneurs program.

"We launched Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence to extend open innovation efforts at Cisco," Anand said. "The program plays an especially important role in Cisco's strategic push to catalyze the Internet of Everything market and provides an opportunity for Cisco to identify disruptive technologies early while forging strategic relationships with high-potential startups."