The gateway to everything entrepreneurial at Cornell University

Business Plan Competitions

To succeed in business requires a tenacity of spirit as well as a good product or service, knowledge of the marketplace, and sustainable funding. Entrepreneurship at Cornell encourages all students who are serious about their startups to participate in business competitions.

Engineering Innovation Award Competition

Application Deadline:  May 8, 2017

Product Pitches:  May 15

Are you an entrepreneurial student with a great idea to impact society?  Have you designed a new, innovative product as part of a class, research or in your garage?Have you developed a physica prototype that you think is feasible to take to market?

Innovation teams may include a broad range of students from across the entire university and from all levels – undergraduate to PhD candidate. However as an undergraduate focused competition, undergraduate students from the College of Engineering must constitute a majority of each participating team.

Prizes and other details

Big Idea Competition 

A competition for Cornell undergraduates who have a great idea for a for-profit or non-profit enterprise. All ideas are welcome; no business plan is required.


  • February 28, 2017 Application Deadline
  • March 14, 2017  Eight Finalists Announced
  • April 28, 2017  BIG Idea Competition Finale – Three minutes to present to live audience of peers, faculty, entrepreneurs, distinguished guests, and public audience this year at eHub Collegetown, Third Floor (305 Multipurpose Room). The winners will be selected based upon a combination of rankings by judges and audience popular vote.

Prizes and other details


Cornell Venture Challenge (CVC)

is Cornell University’s prestigious business plan competition open to teams with New York State or Cornell University affiliation. CVC is sponsored by BR Venture Fund (BRV), Johnson’s early stage venture capital fund operated entirely by a team of MBA students.  Prizes include non-dilutive cash awards up to $50,000 and free legal services worth up to $12,000.


  • Submissions due: March 14th, 2017
  • During the 2017 Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration event, successful applicants will get the chance to pitch new and exciting business ideas to a panel of professional investors and entrepreneurs.

For prize information, location, entry requirements, and other details visit the competition page.

New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC)

Application Deadline: March 10, 2017

This year the Southern Tier Regional Competition, a part of the New York Business Plan Competition, will be held at Binghamton University, Innovative Technologies Complex on Saturday, March 25.

The competition is open to all student entrepreneurs (both undergraduate and graduate) from New York’s Southern Tier Region who are enrolled in one of the partner colleges and universities. Applications for ideas or ventures must fall into one of the five categories below :

  • Information Technology/Software
  • Advanced Technology
  • Products
  • Services
  • Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit
  • Clean Technology

For definition of categories, click here for FAQs!

The top 12 teams from each of the five categories above will advance from the regional semi-final competition to the statewide final competition. That competition is held on Friday, April 28 in Albany, NY. Teams will compete head-to-head against regional winners form the nine other major regions on New York: Capital Region, Central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Mid-Hudson, New Your City, and Long Island.

To learn more please contact the following and visit the NYSBPC website here.

Laura Holmes, Binghamton University –

Felix Litvinsky, Cornell University –

Business Plan Competitions (BPC)

BPC is an external listing of entrepreneurship contests, elevator pitch events, and business plan competitions conducted around the world.  Whether you are looking for funding or simply interested in how others are faring in their quest, BPC is a valuable resource to bookmark.