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Have Cisco pay YOU for a change

After all the money you’ve diverted from your (enterprise’s) coffers, don’t you deserve a little something back? I mean, your requisition orders must pay the salaries of at least a few marketing types, sales types, and even a few engineers, so a kick back is the least they could give you.

Well, you’ve got your chance as Cisco continues moving from providing dumb pipes to selling services and solutions. BusinessWeek has the scoop on Cisco’s I-Prize contest, which will award $250,000 to a team of innovators and entrepreneurs for their idea, with up to $10 million in funding set aside to potentially staff, develop, and market a business based on the idea.

If you’re sick of ho-hum tasks and pointy-haired bosses, this could be your ticket out. And while entries are closed for this year’s contest, there’s always next year or one of dozens of similar contests, as Business Week reports:

Cisco’s innovation contest is one of at least a dozen corporate-sponsored competitions that have cropped up in recent years, all aimed at developing and rewarding innovation. Microsoft (MSFT), for instance, annually awards its $25,000 Imagine Cup to a student team that best uses technology to solve a real-world problem. Using money to reward technological innovation is hardly novel; historians say one of the first innovation prizes dates to 1714, when the British government offered £20,000 to the person who could devise a method for determining a ship’s longitude. (The prize was officially awarded 59 years later.)

Hey, if a Canadian steamfitter and a German student assistant can make it to finalist status, what’s stopping you? If you’re not quite ready for that 180 degree career change, there are other opportunities to give your networking career a jolt.

One quick method: Enter to win Cisco Press’ CCNA Official Exam Certification Library. We’ve got 10 copies to give away to 10 lucky readers. See contest details for a chance to win.

Internetwork Expert is sponsoring a Real CCIE’s, Real People 2008 Scholarship, where the winners (one U.S. and one international award will be given) will receive:

  • CCIE Self-Paced End-to-End Program
  • Complete CCIE Rack Rental package compliments of Graded Labs
  • Onsite Bootcamp of the recipients choice (including airfare, hotel, provisions, and ground transportation).

Not bad, but hurry up: The contest is over in 3 days!

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