2019 Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition
Description
Summary:
Through the generous gifts of Stanley Sun SHA ’00 and Sweet Street Desserts, the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the Hotel School is pleased to offer an annual hospitality business* plan competition – the Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition. The competition’s primary purpose is to provide an experiential learning opportunity to rising hospitality entrepreneurs. The competition kicks off at the start of the academic year with the formation of student teams and development of executive summary business plans. It culminates in the early spring with the submission of final business plans and group presentations during HEC. The Sun gift and Sweet Street Gift combined with industry sponsorships allows us 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. [*”Hospitality business” for the purpose of this competition 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). However, it is critical that teams make clear in their submissions how their business relates to or provides services to the hospitality industry in a direct and material way. We highly recommend that each team consult with the PIHE Director, Neil Tarallo, PRIOR to submitting their executive summary to make sure the concept qualifies as hospitality.]
 
Important Dates for the 2019 Competition:
 
October 24, 2018 at 4:30pm
  • Informational pizza social in Statler 291
November 9, 2018 by 5pm
  • Team captain register team at Reviewr (https://app.reviewr.com/s1/site//2018_2019_CornellBPC)
November 16, 2018 by Noon
  • Submit Executive Summary via Reviewr
November 26, 2018
  • Up to 10 Semi-Finalists Selected and Invited to Submit Full Business Plan
February 15, 2019 by Noon
  • Submit Full Business Plan via Reviewr
March 8, 2018
  • Finalists Selected and Invited to Participate in Final Presentation
March 13, 2019 by Noon
  • Submit FINAL Full Business Plan via Reviewr
March 14, 2019 by 5pm
  • Submit final presentation to Pillsbury Institute Program Manager
March 16, 2019
  • Final Presentations to panel of judges (in front of audience during Hotel Ezra Cornell)
  • Winners announced and prizes awarded (during Hotel Ezra Cornell)
Rules

Team Eligibility Criteria:

  1. 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.
  2. Students must be in good academic standing (i.e., GPA not less than 2.0).
  3. Students may be members of only one team.
  4. For finalists to be eligible to win, all team members must be present for the final presentations.
  5. Teams are encouraged to seek advice and counsel from successful entrepreneurs, professionals, and experts, but teams must present only their own work product.
  6. The Cornell University Honor Code applies to all aspects of the Competition.
  7. Non-students may be members of the venture’s management team and may participate in planning the venture. However, they may NOT be substantially involved in the writing of the plan and should NOT represent a majority of the management team of the company.

Requirements for the Business Idea:

  1. The objective of the Business Plan Competition is to provide a meaningful learning experience for students who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity at some point in their careers. As such, 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.
  2. 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). However, it is critical that teams make clear in their submissions how their business relates to or provides services to the hospitality industry in a direct and material way. We highly recommend that each team consult with the PIHE Interim Director, Neil Tarallo, PRIOR to submitting their executive summary to make sure the concept qualifies as hospitality.
  3. Business ideas may be for both for-profit and non-profit ventures.

 Other Requirements:

  1. Each member of the team must register and consent to the rules and requirements listed here. If consent is not received from each member, the team may not proceed to the next stage of the competition. Consent will be required prior to executive summary submission and prior to semi-finals.
  2. All author(s) of the Executive Summary and/or Full Business Plan must agree that the work they are submitting is their original work. The author(s) will retain all rights to the Executive Summary and Full Business Plan regarding its use at all times prior to and following the Competition.
  3. Team members may NOT withdraw from the team after they have been registered. If a team member does choose to withdraw from the team it will result in the team being non-compliant with the competition rules and the team will be eliminated from the competition.
  4. By participating in the Competition, author(s) give the Competition organizers the right to post the Executive Summary and/or Final Business Plan on a password protected website in order for reviewers/judges to access the items, post comments, and assign numerical scores to the submitted items.
  5. Finalists are required to sign a waiver allowing the Pillsbury Institute the express right to videotape their Final Presentation, and all finalist author(s) will be asked to sign an audio/video release form allowing Cornell University to use the Final Presentation recording and Final Presentation materials within the University for faculty, staff, students, and the Pillsbury Institute for educational purposes. In addition, final presentation videotapes will be posted on the Hotel School website for public consumption.
  6. Finalists are required to sign a money allocation agreement prior to the final presentation on Saturday, March 16 th, 2019. In this agreement, finalists must indicate whether their company will be competing (so that prize money will go directly to the company) or if they will be competing as individuals. If competing as individuals, finalists must indicate how any prize money will be allocated amongst team members. This agreement is meant to 1) allow companies to be the official competitors in the competitions and; 2) prevent any possible disagreements regarding division of money amongst team members after the competition winners are announced.
  7. Non-confidentiality: Some aspects of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question/answer sessions, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media, which may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that could possibly enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in these sessions. Due to the nature of the competition, we are not able to ask judges, reviewers, staff, or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements. However, the Pillsbury Institute will make every effort to limit distribution of business plans presented at the competition. We cannot guarantee that other individuals will not obtain access to electronic or hard copies of the business plan. The Final Presentation will be open to the public and will be videotaped. Attendance by media personnel is expected and final presentations will be posted on the Hotel School website for public consumption. Copyrights & Permissions: If a team uses copyrighted materials and/or images from a third-party in their presentation or business plan, they must obtain permission and authorization in advance from the owners to use this material.
Entering and Important 2018-19 Deadlines:
 
October 24, 2018 at 4:30pm 
  • Informational pizza social in Statler 291
November 9, 2018 by 5pm 
  • Team captain register team at Reviewr (https://app.reviewr.com/s1/site//2018_2019_CornellBPC)
November 16, 2018 by Noon 
  • Submit Executive Summary via Reviewr
November 26, 2018
  • Up to 10 Semi-Finalists Selected and Invited to Submit Full Business Plan
February 15, 2019 by Noon
  • Submit Full Business Plan via Reviewr
March 8, 2018
  • Finalists Selected and Invited to Participate in Final Presentation
March 13, 2019 by Noon 
  • Submit FINAL Full Business Plan via Reviewr
March 14, 2019 by 5pm
  • Submit final presentation to Pillsbury Institute Program Manager
March 16, 2019 
  • Final Presentations to panel of judges (in front of audience during Hotel Ezra Cornell)
  • Winners announced and prizes awarded (during Hotel Ezra Cornell)
Event Photos
Event Videos