[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Twenty businesses from across the UK have been shortlisted for the Cisco BIG Awards, as Cisco completes the first stage of its hunt to find Britain’s most inspiring and innovative start-ups and SMEs.

The Awards, which are running in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase, Bird & Bird, DNX and Octopus Communications, will take place annually throughout Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) initiative – a five-year investment of cash, technology and human resources.

In its inaugural year, the Cisco BIG Awards is celebrating shining examples of the UK’s most enter¬≠prising small businesses. The categories include BIG Data, Collaboration, Future Cities, Internet of Things and Mobility. A judging panel from Cisco worked through the 300 entries, to shortlist 20 semi-finalists. From this 20, six finalists will be chosen to present their business plans live to a judging panel before the winner is chosen.

The overall winner will receive a total prize package of approximately $200k, made up of $100k cash, 12 months of mentoring from Cisco and a 12- month support package covering PR, marketing and legal services. Runners-up and semi-finalists will also receive cash and technology prizes to support and accelerate the development of their brands and businesses.

The full shortlist is:

BIG Data

Collaboration

Future Cities

Internet of Things

Mobility