Student Entrepreneurs Develop Unique Concepts for First Hospitality Business Plan Competition

Contact:  Tom Ward, 607.255.1217, tlw54@cornell.edu

The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is giving students a new opportunity for experiential learning—the Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition. The contest was launched in September 2010, and it will culminate in April 2011 when the top three student teams pitch their unique business concepts to a panel of hospitality executives and venture capitalists.

"The school is full of students with a real passion for entrepreneurship, and this competition is just one more way we can foster that passion," said Tom Ward, managing director of the Pillsbury Institute. "This is a fantastic opportunity for students to demonstrate their creativity and strategic thinking skills."

Of the 28 teams that submitted executive summaries in early November, ten have been chosen as semifinalists in the competition. These teams will submit full business plans and vie to be one of the three teams that will pitch their business concepts to a panel of judges. The final presentations will be held during the 86th annual Hotel Ezra Cornell, and the winning team will receive a cash prize of $15,000.

The Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition was made possible through a generous gift from the Sun Family—Stanley '00 and his parents, Dennis and Betty. Marriott International is the title sponsor of this year's competition. Other sponsors are Avendra, Chartres Lodging, HotelPlanner.com, and Thayer Lodging Group.

To learn more about the Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition, visit http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/industry/centers/pihe/events/competition/.