Cisco says its digital transformation "includes simple, secure and enterprise-grade solutions from the Cisco Start portfolio, designed specifically to support small-to-medium businesses (SMBs)".
Indeed, at the Cisco Start site, we are told that the company offers "affordable IT solution that are just right for your small business. From routers and switches to cloud based applications and collaboration tools, start with the right small business solution", all of which would be very handy in any company, let alone a start-up.
As winner of the Cisco Start Challenge, JAR Aerospace will receive "network, security and endpoint security solutions for quick threat detection, as well as switches, routers and wireless solutions for fast and reliable network connectivity", which was presumably a slightly jarring event for its four impressive competitors who have missed out on the prize but are still very deserving finalists.
So, what does JAR Aerospace do, and why did it win, and who were the judges?
"The company aspires to become the frontier for manned and unmanned space exploration from Australia".
The event was hosted at the impressive WeWork Pyrmont facility, and saw five SMBs across Australia pitch their business plans to a panel of judges, with the other four listed at the end of the article, and whose pitches can be seen in the video embedded below.
The judging panel included avid small business supporters:
- David Koch, business and start-up expert extraordinaire, as well as famed co-host of Sunrise;
- Fred Schebesta, the über-millennially styled chief executive of finder.com.au who, as can be seen in the video, likes, like, saying "stuff" and "like" a lot while, like, keeping it real and stuff as he sees things through the millennial perspective and lingo, eliciting well-timed comedic laughs from the crowd with his, like, everyman observations and stuff, y'know;
- Cori Drogemuller, head of Communications at Cisco ANZ and head of the judging panel; and
- Raymond Janse van Rensburg, director of Systems Engineering at Cisco ANZ.
Samuel Lewinson, co-founder and chief operating officer of JAR Aerospace said: "It’s very exciting to win the Cisco Start Challenge, and it really does validate our ideas and concepts.
“Thanks to Cisco, this prize will help our company transform the current systems we work on. The technology will allow us to collaborate with our global partners more effectively and transform the way we do business generally.”
Koch said, “JAR won the competition because they are breathing new life into Australia’s aerospace industry with new technology, ideas and potentially new jobs. It’s companies like JAR which are pushing barriers of what’s possible and it’s important corporates like Cisco support them.
"The Cisco Start Challenge is a platform to highlight young and innovative Australian talent and it’s so exciting to see the talent and ideas coming out of this country.”
Here's the first part of the Cisco Start event with each company's pitch – two more videos are embedded further below, with the article continuing, so please read on!
Video 1/3 Cisco Start Challenge Australia 2018 – pitch session
Michael Dickerson, director of sales marketing for KNet Australia, said, “Technology is the great equaliser and Cisco is enabling Australian start ups to achieve more. Start ups or small businesses want to be able to compete on equal footing with large organisations and we are giving them the tools to help them do this.”
Nykaj Nair, head of SMB & Channels at Cisco ANZ, said, “This initiative is all about supporting the SMBs in Australia by helping them to elevate their business with a strong technology foundation.
“We understand that SMB owners juggle many roles and responsibilities at once and don’t always have IT resource available. With Cisco Start, we aim to take the headache out of IT by providing a reliable, smart and secure technology infrastructure that is designed to support small businesses and allows SMB owners to focus on their day-to-day priorities.”
The video announcing the winner is below, the article plus a video interview with Lewinson follows below, so please read on!
Video 2/3 Cisco Start Challenge Australia 2018 – winner announcement
To learn more about Cisco’s SMB solutions, visit the Cisco Start website.
Here's the video interview with Lewison whose company won the Cisco Start Challenge. A photo of the winner and judges follows below that.
Video 3/3 Cisco Start Challenge winner, Samuel Lewinson, JAR Aerospace
Cisco Start Challenge Winner Samuel Lewinson (centre) from JAR Aerospace, with judging panel. From left, Raymond Janse van Rensburg, Fred Schebesta, Samuel Lewinson, Nykaj Nair, David Koch and Cori Drogemuller.