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Students’ hospitality business plans honored

Christina Elliott
Rachel Philipson
Christina Elliott, MMH '15, creator of the Modern Market concept, won the Hospitality Business Plan Competition.

Rachel Philipson
The BrewMe team, which took second place in the competition.

The business plan for Modern Market, a network of direct-to-consumer commissaries offering a subscription service that delivers fresh prepared gourmet meal components, won the $15,000 first prize in the Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition, hosted by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the School of Hotel Administration (SHA).

Modern Market was developed by Christina Elliott, MMH '15.

The $5,000 second prize went to BrewMe, a social network- and location-based mobile app to buy someone a drink, by Tucker Iida '16, Aigul Jumabayeva '16 and Lily Gao, MPS '16. RedHead Wine, a red wine made with non-traditional production methods by Zach Berle '15, Gavin Hilder '17, Marisa Sergi '15 and Elizabeth Shvidky '16 took third place, worth $2,500.

The prizes are intended to help the students launch their hospitality-related businesses.

Finalists made presentations to a panel of judges March 21, during Hotel Ezra Cornell.

Undergraduate and graduate students from throughout Cornell are eligible to compete but half the members of each team must be SHA undergraduate or graduate students.

This year's other finalist teams:

  • A Kneaded Hand (a nonprofit training restaurant that will hire, train and assist in job placement for young victims of food insecurity and unemployment): Dana Beninati, MMH '15, and Niharika Thakwani, MMH '15
  • Oh Momma! Center (membership-based fitness, wellness and community-space for working mothers): Maggie Lo, MMH '15, Regine Desroches, MMH '15, Ashton Liu, MMH '15 and Hirman Ahmad, MMH '15

Semifinalist teams:

  • Avinue (interactive, technology-enhanced, small-space limited-food-service wine bar designed for wine-savvy U.S. West Coast markets): Salim Bure '15 and Alyssa Pizzurro '15
  • OnRed Partners (new brand of U.S. hotel-hostels that combine social component of hostels with high-end design): Guy Cook '15 and Andrew Nesbitt, MBA '16
  • Signum Technologies (data/technology-driven service to help independent restaurants optimize processes and create customer loyalty): Patrick Tan '16, Andy Syang '16 and Eric Morris '16
  • The Wasted Waffle (food truck offering customizable waffles and pancakes): Micah Green '18 and Kevin Parsons '18
  • Yuba (aggregate delivery network, online ordering and performance evaluation hub designed for independent restaurants): Basel Bataineh '17 and; Humale Khane ’15

The competition was sponsored by Stanley Sun '00 and his parents, Dennis and Betty Sun; Steve Thomson '82; Elizabeth Shingleton Glomsrud ’00 and Barbara Foote Shingleton ’75; Marriott Hotels; Preferred Hotel Group; Sweet Street Desserts; Avendra; and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz