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Business plan competition raises top prize to $25,000

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John Carberry

The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship's seventh annual Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition has raised the prize for the first place winner to $25,000 and the overall purse to $37,500, making it the largest competition prize package exclusively for Cornell students. Second and third place winners will receive $7,500 and $5,000, respectively.

“Increasing the prize money aligns us more with competitions on college campuses across the U.S. and will help us to increasingly attract student teams with some of the most promising business ideas and plans on campus,” said Susan Fleming, a School of Hotel Administration (SHA) senior lecturer and faculty sponsor for the competition. “Since the inception of the competition, we have seen the quality of the entries continually improve and more of the businesses actually being launched. We want to support this success and foster further success.”

The Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition is an annual SHA event that begins in November when student teams are formed and executive summaries for business plans are developed. The competition ends in March during Hotel Ezra Cornell, when finalists present their business plans to an audience of alumni and other industry executives and winners are selected.

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.

Students interested in entering the competition can attend the Pizza Social at the Pillsbury Institute in 289 Statler Hall on Oct. 14 at 4:30 p.m. to learn more about the competition and network with other students interested in participating. The institute has streamlined the registration and submission process and judging of the competition with the addition of PitchBurner. The competition is open to all full-time Cornell undergraduate and graduate students.


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