The 10 Coolest Startups Of 2013


Insieme Networks

Chief Executive: Mario Mazzola

This was a big year for startup and Cisco "spin-in" Insieme Networks, which launched its flagship application-centric infrastructure (ACI) in November.

ACI, Insieme's and Cisco's answer to the much ballyhooed software-defined networking (SDN) trend, is touted by both companies as being the next evolution beyond network overlays, a common type of SDN deployment that involves running a separate, software-based layer on top of existing network infrastructures.

Insieme is so cool that Cisco decided to fully acquire the startup in November, making it a wholly owned subsidiary. Insieme will anchor Cisco's broader SDN strategy moving forward, as the networking giant looks to take on rivals including VMware and Hewlett-Packard in the increasingly crowded SDN market.