Deadline: November 19, 2020 00:00 CET| Apply here
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Eligibility: Teams consisting of no more than five full-time undergraduate and/or graduate students are eligible but at least ONE of the members of each team must be an SHA student.

Hospitality Business Plan Competition 2021

The Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition is an annual entrepreneurship event that begins at the start of the academic year when students form teams and develop executive summaries for their business plans.

The competition’s primary purpose is to provide an experiential learning opportunity to rising hospitality entrepreneurs.

Competition overview

The competition kicks off at the start of the academic year with the formation of student teams and the development of a 5-minute pitch video.

The competition ends in early spring during Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) when the student teams submit their final business plans and semi-finalist teams make their presentations to a judging panel that selects the top three concepts as winners.

Requirements for the Business Idea

Most ideas entered in the Competition will be ideas for new independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages.

Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, and spin-outs from existing corporations.

Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is allowed, assuming they have not been commercialized previously.

Ideas should be drawn from the hospitality sector. For the purpose of this Competition, “hospitality” is construed quite broadly and includes businesses providing support services to the hospitality industry (e.g., businesses such as Micros Systems that provide software and hardware to restaurant and lodging businesses).

Business ideas may be for both for-profit and non-profit ventures.


Cash prizes for the top three finishers total over $35,000.

The Sun gift and Sweet Street Gift combined with industry sponsorships allow to award the winning team a cash prize of $25,000, second place team a cash prize of $7,500, and third-place team a cash prize of $5,000.

The Business Plan Competition is a meaningful learning experience for students who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial venture and whose ideas serve as new independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages.

Interested in applying for the Hospitality Business Plan Competition 2020? Register your participation by following the registration link and taking the suggested steps.

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