DFJ and Cisco announce 16 finalists in global business plan competition

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San Jose/California, June 26 (ANI/Business Wire India): Leading early-stage venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and Cisco today announced the 16 finalists in their first co-sponsored Global Business Plan Competition for university and business school students.

The finalists, whose business plans address a diverse group of issues from efficient and affordable web-scale computing to early cancer detection, will be competing from their respective geographic areas via Cisco TelePresenceT on June 30, 2009. The winning team will receive a minimum seed investment of $250,000.

"Clearly global innovation doesn't stop for recessions", said Tim Draper, managing director, DFJ. "These promising candidates are reminding us that there are pioneering companies out there, even in difficult times, and we hope that one of these teams creates the next Skype, Google, Facebook, Baidu or Cisco. This competition fosters a culture of entrepreneurship that has a lasting impact, and its benefits are felt not just by the winning team but by all participants. We look forward to continuing meaningful ties with all of these young entrepreneurs in the future."

The plans of the 16 finalists, many of which have already won local university competitions, were selected from thousands of eligible business plans in nine countries across the globe. The selection was based on various criteria including quality of management team, technical innovation, addressable market size, competitive positioning, barriers, capital efficiency, and financial projections.

The majority of the finalists are still in the early stages of business development. In addition to the financial investment awarded to the winner, both DFJ and Cisco will assist the winner and finalists in leading the next wave of disruptive technologies by providing mentorship and professional assessments regarding their submissions.

"Cisco has always supported and nurtured entrepreneurial vision, in good times as well as in difficult times, and we're excited to help evaluate the dynamic technologies and business plans put forth by these talented finalists," said Hilton Romanski, vice president of corporate development for Cisco.

"The global reach of this competition emphasizes the reality that connecting great ideas and the people who have them is no longer constrained by geographic boundaries. These 16 finalists will travel to a single boardroom in Silicon Valley without a single one of them having to physically leave their home country. This is the power of Cisco TelePresence."

The competition will use Cisco TelePresence to allow the finalists to present their business plans to a San Jose-based panel of seasoned investors from DFJ, its Global Network of Funds and Cisco. Cisco TelePresence enables collaboration through a live, face-to-face network communications experience where participants feel as though they are sitting in the same room even though they may be located thousands of miles apart.

Competitors and the media will be invited to view the competition via simulcast beginning at 8 a.m. PDT on June 30, and the winner will be announced at 6:30 p.m. PDT the same day.

Please contact Kristin Carvell at Cisco if you are a member of the media interested in attending the competition or viewing it via a live webcast.

Finalists hail from 15 different schools in six countries. (ANI)

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