Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Joining forces with Deloitte to ‘Disrupt the Enterprise’

September 23, 2016

Last night, IDEALondon endured a disruptive evening.

Nine start-ups working in areas as diverse as retail, transport, building management, security and media ran through quick-fire pitches to an attentive audience of Deloitte customers and employees, and Cisco and IDEALondon folk.

The aim of the event was to put some of the most talented and disruptive tech start-ups in London in front of an enterprise crowd that is looking for the next industry-shifting innovation.

Pitching on the night were Asset Mapping – the self-described “Uber of building and asset management” –, along with footfall counters Hoxton Analytics, IoT security application builders TeskaLabs, Pie Mapping’s fleet management experts, the smart lighting revolutionaries at amBX, retail payment disruptors MishiPay, AI transcribers Trint and IDEAL alumni SPARKL and EnergyDeck, who provide smart system sequencing solutions and energy efficient building management respectively.

With innovation in the digital era forming the backbone of Deloitte’s 2016 Tech Trends report, a line-up of start-ups with such a strong – and varied – offering to the enterprise made absolute sense.

Working alongside service providers like Deloitte to extend the reach of our co-development approach to innovation – as well as to challenge our start-ups to adapt their solutions to new audiences – is a vital part of our innovation programme.

Constructing innovation

Three and half years ago, IDEALondon was little more than a building site with a vision attached to it. In fact, it was still under construction when our first four start-ups moved in – looking back, I like to think of this as a nice metaphor for the centre’s growth being driven by its innovative inhabitants.

Since then, we’ve had somewhere in the range of 35-40 start-ups pass through, as well as more than 200 Cisco customers and other organisations from as far afield as Hong Kong, Australia and Taiwan connecting with the entrepreneurs in residence at IDEAL.

Our involvement with IDEALondon is all about connecting our customers with start-ups working on innovative solutions.

At Cisco we’re also lucky enough to be involved in a number of exciting research projects that come out of the UK government’s Innovate UK initiative.

Manchester’s CityVerve  smart city demonstrator project is one of these, and, with IDEALondon resident Asset Mapping involved as a partner member of the CityVerve consortium, serves as a prime example of how Cisco innovates from top to bottom.

Setting out the stalls

It seems that no matter how many times I see them do it, I always come away with some new nugget of knowledge after watching these entrepreneurs pitch. To be able to provide our partners at Deloitte, and their customers, with that experience is a real pleasure.

Without exception, all of the start-ups on show had a unique solution or innovative take on a common problem to boast.

That could be Hoxton Analytics skirting privacy issues by looking at people’s shoes, or SPARKL CEO , Jacoby Thwaites, presenting what he described as “an absolutely unique way of making things work together.” Considering the digital era focus of the evening, these sentiments were particular fitting.

In the same vein as IDEALondon’s regular Demo Day pitch events, though, the real conversations occur over the drinks and canapes upstairs. These continued long into the night, with the same buzz in the room that makes turning down the opportunity to act as host of these events so difficult to turn down…

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