in Canada, Venture Capital

Cisco looking for Canadian innovation

We understand that the good people at Cisco are poking around up North for some start-ups to play a role in the company’s expanded focus  into the datacenter, virtualization and smart grid markets.

These are key new markets for Cisco and clearly they want to know what the most innovative start-ups are up to (isn’t the hunt for innovation why all leading companies come poking around here?)

Cisco’s got a few criteria (big companies love their processes!) but it should be pretty easy. To summarize: :

1)      Companies must be active in the datacenter, virtualization or smart grid markets

2)      Must have existing VC investment

3)      Ready/able to take their business to the next level

4)      VC-pitch PowerPoint will be accepted only. (they can’t review websites, datasheets or whitepapers)

The people doing the poking are Cisco’s Corporate Development team, who are responsible for investment, acquisition, strategy and partnerships for the company. So if any of these options sound appealing to you, forward your slides to Tab Borden of the Canadian Consulate < [email protected]>

  1. The Canada Foundation for Innovation is a corporation created by the Government of Canada. It funds research infrastructure. Since its creation in 1997 the Foundation has been entrusted with $3.65 billion Canadian dollars from the federal government.
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  2. I worked for Cisco for 4 years during the dot com era and was part of the team that acquired 3 startups. I can tell you that Cisco is one of the best acquirers in any industry. Their acquisition “process” has been perfected over 20 years.

    The one “secret” criteria that is missing from the list above is “culture fit”. Culture ranks high above most other items since if you aren't going to fit into their “North Californian” culture once you have been acquired, then their money is going to have been wasted. Make sure that you present your startup as innovative across the entire team, not just the President or the executives. Make sure you go fast, but listen to the market to change quickly. And make sure that you show how well you *execute*.

  3. I worked for Cisco for 4 years during the dot com era and was part of the team that acquired 3 startups. I can tell you that Cisco is one of the best acquirers in any industry. Their acquisition “process” has been perfected over 20 years.

    The one “secret” criteria that is missing from the list above is “culture fit”. Culture ranks high above most other items since if you aren’t going to fit into their “North Californian” culture once you have been acquired, then their money is going to have been wasted. Make sure that you present your startup as innovative across the entire team, not just the President or the executives. Make sure you go fast, but listen to the market to change quickly. And make sure that you show how well you *execute*.

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