The gateway to everything entrepreneurial at Cornell University

Student Business of the Year

Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration [ENTR]In recognition of a student team’s commitment to developing and operating a successful business while pursuing an education, Entrepreneurship at Cornell has established the Student Business of the Year award.

All of Cornell’s schools and colleges are invited to participate in the process by nominating student businesses. Each nominee must be operated by a current Cornell undergraduate or graduate student, or a team of at least 50 percent current Cornell students. Success measures will vary depending on industry and will include revenue generation, customer validation, creativity, uniqueness, intellectual property, grants, awards and scalability of the business model.

Factors that judges will consider when selecting the Student Business of the Year are:

  • Business team’s initiative, character, originality, and persistence
  • Revenue generation (social and environmental outcomes are considered, but revenue generation is the focus)
  • Other indications of customer validation such as users and downloads
  • Business creativity/uniqueness
  • Tangible intellectual property position that protects the product or service
  • Scalable business model
  • Size of addressable market
  • Awards, business competition success, or other industry recognition
  • Receipt of grant funding, equity investment or other capital
  • Substance and sustainability of the business (as opposed to pitch performance)

The Student Business of the Year Award  is announced during the annual Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration each spring.

2018 Student Business of the Year – Combplex
2017 Student Business of the Year – Wo No Ni Cosmetics
2016 Student Business of the Year – Equine Design
2015 Student Business of the Year – Produce Pay, Inc.
2014 Student Business of the Year – Worthy Jerky