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Cisco aims to cash in on innovative startups by growing its corporate venture fund

Sam Shead | June 11, 2015
Cisco claims that it invest in the best teams and technologies that improve how people work, live, play, and learn. The networking giant claims that it can accelerate the impact of startup innovations via direct access to Cisco customers, partners, business leaders, and Cisco IT.

Meanwhile, outgoing CEO John Chambers hinted that Cisco could be about to further support UK startups. "We're coming to the UK in July and hopefully we'll make some announcements at that time about commitments," he said. "Remember when we invested in France we took minimum of $100 million in startup investments and you're going to see that occur as countries digitalise around the world, if we're able to form partnerships with governments."

Chambers revealed that he's "probably going to do a couple of startups" of his own, adding that he'll sit on the board while also being an active investor.

Other large technology corporates like Microsoft and Intel have their own venture capital units. By way of comparison, Google Ventures is investing $400 million to $500 million each year in what it believes are high potential companies, including the likes of Uber.

But getting venture capital funds to part with their money can be difficult and cumbersome, with many partners and investors receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of startup pitches every year.

"I think the worst pitches focus too much on technology and they don't tell you what customer problem they solve," said Hoe. "I want to hear that in the first line. That gives me a quick sense of whether I think they're relevant or not."


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