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Cisco and MTV Partner on Digital Incubator

CNET reports that through a relationship with mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, Cisco unveiled the mtvU "Digital Incubator" program, an annual contest that selects 10 student groups that will each get $25,000 in cash to fund projects aimed at developing content for broadband users.

This year's winners combine elements of short-form programming, gaming, social networking, blogging, instant messaging, podcasting and mobile phone interactivity. The first Digital Incubator projects will premiere in May as part of mtvU's on-air, online, on-campus and wireless programming for the next six months.

"My biggest regret is that I haven't found the next Google of online content," said Dan Scheinman, senior vice president of corporate development for Cisco. "The media business is in a disruptive era and consumers are being empowered to create and share their own content. It's important for (Cisco) to see where the trends are going so we can build capabilities into our products to enable it."

Cisco's strategy is built on the assumption that Internet Protocol technology will change home entertainment. With more than half of all U.S. households subscribing to broadband service, people are finally ready to do much more than surf the Web and e-mail over the Internet.

Scheinman is convinced that corporate suits in Silicon Valley, Hollywood or New York won't likely be the ones to come up with the next big thing. Instead, innovation will come from students on university campuses, he said.

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