& cplSiteName &

Verizon Rewards Innovation: The Envelope, Please

Mari Silbey
1/9/2014
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS -- Verizon's presence was low key at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but the telecom giant did highlight the importance of applications innovation when it held a press briefing to announce the winners of its Powerful Answers contest.

While Verizon Communications Inc. believes its network can support vast innovation, the company also knows the industry needs entrepreneurs to build applications and solutions on top of that infrastructure in order to solve some of the world's most difficult problems.

The Powerful Answers competition was designed to encourage innovators in sustainability, education, and healthcare to submit their products and services for a chance to win cash prizes from Verizon. The winners announced at CES, each of which won $1 million, were:

  • Mosaic, a company with a platform allowing individuals to invest as little as $25 at a time in solar energy projects.
  • TinyTap, the creator of a system for making personalized, tablet-based educational games.
  • Smart Vision Labs, the inventor of a device that can automatically diagnose a person's level of vision impairment and determine the right glasses prescription.

    The awards ceremony was a small but lively affair hosted by Mo Rocca, a comedian and journalist of CBS and public radio fame, and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. After highlighting finalists in each category of the competition, Rocca and McAdam brought representatives from the winning companies on stage for a panel discussion. Asked what he thought success for his company would look like, CEO Yogev Shelly said he wanted TinyTap to be the "Wikipedia or YouTube for education content."

    Yaopeng Zhou, the co-founder of Smart Vision Labs, joked that he was going to spend all his company's winnings while in Las Vegas, but then seriously added that he wants to invest more in hiring engineers for continued research and development.

    CEO Dan Rosen added that he's hoping to turn Mosaic into a "sort of Kickstarter for solar," referring to the popular crowd-funding platform that allows any consumer to invest in startup projects.

    McAdam explained at the end of the panel session that Verizon is offering to help the winners in any way it can to commercialize their products. During the next 30 days, the company will also gather feedback from participants in the contest so it can begin planning Powerful Answers 2.0.

    Complete information on all of the finalists in the Powerful Answers contest is available right here.

    — Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

    (7)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Sarah Thomas
    50%
    50%
    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/10/2014 | 1:11:51 PM
    Re: Verizon v T-Mo
    I agree, and his approach to customers is totally different from any wireless CEO. I love that he interacts on Twitter with customers and the media. The sh*t-talking makes things interesting, but sometimes I think the whole act seems a little forced. He's definitely playing a role with his Red Bull on stage, publicity stunts, and language. It's working so far though!
    wanlord
    50%
    50%
    wanlord,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    1/10/2014 | 1:03:31 PM
    Re: Verizon v T-Mo
    Though I kinda like this Legere guy. Yea he is a bit unpolished and brash and keeps the guys who hit the "bleep" button on their toes, he is a real guy that relates to most people and is going to shake up the mobile industry. The bell heads of AT&T and VZ are going to have to start being more creative and less focused on number crunching to win.
    msilbey
    50%
    50%
    msilbey,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/10/2014 | 12:30:52 PM
    Meanwhile, reporter showed no class in Q&A
    Speaking of the T-Mobile news, there was one awful moment at the end of the press conference. A Reuters reporter was given the microphone for the first audience question and used the opportunity to change the subject of discussion to the announcement T-Mobile's CEO made about offering to buy out anyone's cellular contract in exchange for switching carriers. It was completely off topic, particularly with the winners of the Verizon award on stage.

    When the reporter asked what McAdam thought of the offer, the CEO deftly responded that this was not an appropriate question for the setting, and that he was sure the reporter could speak with Verizon's public relations people about the matter. Ouch. 
    Sarah Thomas
    50%
    50%
    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/10/2014 | 11:26:58 AM
    Re: Verizon v T-Mo
    AT&T's presence may not have been that big either if it weren't hosting its developer conference in conjunction with it. But yeah, Verizon seems to be staying out of the fray, which I think makes it look good.
    wanlord
    50%
    50%
    wanlord,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    1/10/2014 | 11:24:55 AM
    Re: Verizon v T-Mo
    I think VZ's network shows itself enough that a huge presence at CES is not needed. This show is more focused on end user devices. Being here would just be a waste of advertising dollars that can be better utilized. The network is always needed regardless of what new devices are out there. VZ CEO is more professional and has better things to do than crash competitor parties and spout off crap like someone we know...
    albreznick
    50%
    50%
    albreznick,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/9/2014 | 7:35:13 PM
    Re: Verizon v T-Mo
    Why do you think Verizo was so low-key at CES? That's not like them, is it? Was it just the wrong show for them?
    Sarah Thomas
    50%
    50%
    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    1/9/2014 | 1:11:07 PM
    Verizon v T-Mo
    I felt bad for Verizon, timing its event at the same time as T-Mobile's cuss-word laden, crap-talking, crazy press conference next door. Verizon was definitely a lot more low key, but I think that works in its favor. Legere even called AT&T out for giving into his antics. That's exactly what T-Mobile wants, of course. It's free PR. Verizon isn't giving it as much, if at all.
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    From The Founder
    The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    Nokia's Advancement Plan: Bring Old Skills to New Roles

    6|29|16   |   7:57   |   (1) comment


    Nokia's Sandy Motley advises women to change their mindsets; get aggressive about advancing their careers; develop strong, diverse support networks; and always bring forth learned skills to take on new challenges and different roles.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Cisco's Yvette Kanouff

    6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
    LRTV Interviews
    Comcast: Prepping Next-Gen Video Services

    6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this LRTV interview, Comcast's Elad Nafshi outlines where MSO stands with cloud DVR, OTT video, college and gigabit services.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Energy 2020: Creating Unique Standards for Cable's Unique Networks

    6|28|16   |   09:30   |   (0) comments


    Cable's unique network requirements require a specific set of standards for operators to increase power efficiency, according to Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee, and Ian Oliver, managing director of the Trenchant Group and a member of the ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Masergy: 'Now Is the Time for NFV'

    6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Hear Ray Watson, VP of Global Technology at Masergy, talk about the advantages that enterprises can leverage using Network Function Virtualization (NFV), and how Masergy takes a unique approach to solving customers' problems. For more information on Masergy, please visit www.masergy.com.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Masergy Leads the Charge With NFV Capabilities

    6|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Hear Tim Naramore, CTO at Masergy, talk about how focusing on solving specific customer challenges, providing self-service automation tools and being laser focused on the customer experience has enabled Masergy to be a leader in the NFV space. For more information on Masergy, please visit www.masergy.com.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Private Company of the Year - Affirmed Networks

    6|27|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At BCE 2016, Steve Saunders speaks to Hassan Ahmed about Affirmed's success.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

    6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


    Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

    6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


    To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
    LRTV Documentaries
    OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

    6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


    MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

    6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


    At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Juniper's NFV Platform

    6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


    A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
    Upcoming Live Events
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
    November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 6-8, 2016,
    May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
    AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
    Brexit: It's Hard to See an Upside
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 6/29/2016
    Qualcomm Readies Lower-Band 5G Testbed
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/27/2016
    Sigfox Said to Face Customer Backlash
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/27/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Cisco's Yvette Kanouff for an exclusive in-depth interview.
    At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.