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Business Plan Contests

Take the first step in making your business idea a reality! Cornell offers annual business plan competitions for both undergraduate and graduate students. Winners can receive up to $10,000 and an opportunity to be considered for investment by BRVentures, Cornell's on-campus, student-run venture capital firm.

  • Big Idea Competition
    | Big Idea Competition

    The BIG Idea Competition is designed by Entrepreneurship@Cornell for Cornell Undergraduates who have a great idea for a for-profit or  non-profit enterprise, and are looking to capitalize on it!

    The Big Idea Competition is a unique opportunity to submit your  innovative idea online, and potentially have an opportunity to pitch it  to an active audience of successful entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs,  faculty, and your peers for cash prizes and valuable connections... and  who knows... you might get a little famous in the process!

    Not sure where to start? Don't worry — we're here to support you.  This website will provide you all of the resources that you will need to  be successful! Please take a moment to explore this site to learn more  about the contest timeline, judging process, prizes, rules, or to  contact us with any questions that you may have. Also be sure to use our  handy entrepreneurial resources to support your efforts.

    Final Presentations will be April 11, 2014 in the Statler Hotel Ballroom, 4:30pm - 6:30pm
    Open to the public, come vote for your winning idea!

  • CVC Challenge 2013
    | CVC Challenge Website

    The Cornell Venture Challenge (CVC) is Cornell University’s prestigious Business Plan Competition. On April 18th 2013 and during the Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration event, successful applicants will get the chance to pitch new and exciting business ideas to a panel of professional investors and entrepreneurs. The winners of the competition will earn up to $25,000 cash prize (non-dilutive funding) to push their ideas forward.

  • SXSW MBA Startup Pitch Competition
    | Learn More

    Columbia Business School and New York Tech Meetup are hosting an MBA Startup Competition for the Top 10 Business Schools across the country during SXSW on March 9th. At least one member of the team must be an MBA. This will be a great event to showcase your company at one of the largest startup events of the year, and win some great prizes to get your startup going. In the first round, students from the startup's respective schools will vote for their favorite 60 video, and judges will look at a 10-slide presentation - there will be one finalist selected from each school by February 14th. Finalists will have free lodging during SXSW. Round 2 will be held on March 9, with winners announced after presentations to judges

  • New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC)
    | NYBPC Website

    There are over $125K in prizes up for grabs! The Southern Tier Regional Semi-Final will be on April 5, 2013 at Cornell University. The final will be on April 26, 2013 in Albany, NY. Only current undergraduate or graduate students are able to participate. Teams must have a faculty advisor.

  • Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition
    | Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition

    The Hospitality Business Plan Competition provides an experiential learning opportunity to rising entrepreneurs looking to make their mark on the hospitality industry. The competition kicks off at the start of the academic year and culminates in early spring with the submission of final business plans and group presentations. The winners are announced during Hotel Ezra Cornell. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three teams - $15,000 to the winning team! New this year: an additional $5,000 prize for the business plan that best address issues of disability and/or environmental sustainability. View the video and winners of the 2010 competition here.

  • Biz Plan Competitions BPC
    | Biz Plan Competition

    Are you interested in staying current on the rapidly-expanding world of innovative business plan, quick pitch, and idea competitions? If so, Biz Plan Competitions is your resource.

    Focused on monitoring and reporting the most promising, legitimate entrepreneurship contests and business plan competitions in the world, Biz Plan Competitions compiles this information for enterprising start-ups and their principals. Launched as a resource for entrepreneurs, BPC continues to research and expand one of the most comprehensive collections of competitive and funding opportunities for start-ups in the world.

  • Giants Entrepreneurship Challenge
    | Click Here to Register- Giants Entrepreneurship Challenge

    The University of North Dakota is pleased to announce the Giants Entrepreneurship Challenge, which will be held on the UND campus in Grand Forks, ND on April 12-13, 2013. The competition is open to all student teams at colleges and universities in the United States and Canadian provinces. Monetary and in-kind prizes will be awarded and will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday afternoon, April 13, 2013.

  • Innovation Competition- Advanced Materials Enabled Innovation Competition
    | Materials Science & Engineering

    The Advanced Materials Enabled Innovation Competition challenges students to design or prototype an innovative technology based on advanced materials and to demonstrate that this technology can be successful in a commercial product/process or as a small business innovation research (SBIR) proposal.
    Sponsored by: Jung-Hyun Oh - SSCP


    • First: $15,000
    • Second: $8,000
    • Third: $4,000
    • Director's Design Prize:  $3,000 for an innovative design by an all-undergraduate team

    Except for the Director's Design Prize, a percentage of up to 25% of the each total prize amount will be set aside and be available for the team solely for expenses related to further commercialization of the project, such as patent and legal fees, marketing, or prototype manufacture, incurred within 18 months after the competition judging.  The remaining percentage of the prize will be awarded directly to the team soon after the awards are announced. 

    Visit competition website (Materials Science & Engineering) to learn more about regulations and prizes!


  • Grants for Growth
    | Click Here More Information and to Apply - Grants for Growth

    New York’s Centerstate CEO has announced a new round of their Grants For Growth program.  The (new) structure is: $25,000 nondilutive grants for proof of concept development (or)$75,000 - $150,000 convertible notes for commercialization / scale-up Programs must be a combination of company and academic partner, and the intent of the program is to create and retain high-paying, high-quality jobs in the region.  This program has been very helpful to a number of regional startups, and the structure allows for a lot of flexibility in funding proof of concept development and commercialization.