Cisco will invest a $100 million including $40 million to fund early-stage and growth-stage companies in the country and train 250,000 students in India by 2020.
“Digitization goes beyond connectivity. The impact of digitization is far-reaching, helping countries maintain global competitiveness, foster innovation and create jobs. Education and Internet are two equalizers in life. With our increased investments in education and innovation, we are harnessing the power of technology to launch a generation of problem solvers who will innovate like technologists, think like entrepreneurs and act as social change agents,” John Chambers, Executive Chairman, Cisco said.
Cisco said that it will collaborate closely with state governments in India on strategic initiatives including the addition of 6 new innovation labs, 3 centres of expertise, funded university collaborations and skills investments, supporting the next phase of the country’s digitization plans.
The new activities form part of Cisco’s global ‘Country Digitization Acceleration’ or CDA program, whereby select countries across the world receive major strategic investment to accelerate existing government goals for driving economic growth through high-tech innovation.
The company said the $40 million to fund will help it promote the growth of early-stage and growth stage companies, marking a new phase of support for innovation in India and aligned to the country’s digital transformation agenda. The networking major’s focus will be on next generation technologies such as security, cloud, and the Internet of Things as well as digital plays in smart cities, financial services, healthcare, e-governance.
Cisco’s strategy is to have an active role at all stages of start-up development, from identification, creation of incubators and accelerator programs, to directly and indirectly funding the most promising digital start-ups across India. The company said it will provide the opportunity for companies and the innovation ecosystem to build businesses, innovate and go global with digital solutions.