Cisco expands its global startup incubator program

Cisco Systems has almost doubled in size its Entrepreneurs-in-Residence incubation program, claiming broad success with the now two-year-old effort.

The program kicked off last March with six Silicon Valley companies. This year’s class of 11 includes four companies in Silicon Valley, one in San Diego, one in Chicago and five in Vienna, Austria. The current session kicked off this month.

Senior Vice President Mala Anand said the majority of first-session companies developed business relationships with Cisco that range from joint selling agreements to technology integration efforts. Cisco is looking at some as candidates for investment, she added.

The program’s goal is to foster relationships between the startups and Cisco. As with other accelerator programs, EIR provides mentorship, financial support in the form of cost reimbursements and access to the Cisco sales channel. Each company is assigned a Cisco business manager.

Startups entering the program are focused on Internet of Things, big data and analytics, and “smart city” initiatives. Most have market-ready products.

This year’s companies include Measurence, which is working in mobile analytics, ParStream, developing an Internet of Things analytics platform, and smart sensor developer Embedor Technologies.

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