Indian food kiosk concept wins Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition

Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.255.9780, jmh222@cornell.edu

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Indian food kiosk concept wins Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition

Ithaca, NY, April 23, 2012 – The DC Factory won the $15,000 first-place prize in the Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition, held annually by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship (PIHE) at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The final round of the competition was held April 14, 2012, during the 87th Hotel Ezra Cornell student-run conference. Created by Anukul Chandhok '12 and Vijay Sundar '12, the DC Factory is a collection of food kiosks based in New Delhi metro stations.

"The business plan competition gives students an opportunity to develop an innovative concept, build a practical business model, and convince a panel of industry experts that the idea is both feasible and marketable. I was highly impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm that students showed throughout the competition," said Susan Fleming, senior lecturer, who organized the event with Neil Tarallo, senior lecturer and academic director of PIHE.

Second place and $5,000 went to Maria Hera '12, Jessica Lin MMH (Master of Management in Hospitality) '12, and Keith Seeber MMH '12 for Batch, a company that consults and creates customized desserts for restaurants. Third place and $2,500 went to Colette Chen MMH '12 and Samuel Thorpe '12 for EcoFishFeed, a company that raises forager fish for feed at salmon aquaculture farms. EcoFishFeed also won the $5,000 Stein Family Prize for Disability and Environmental Sustainability Solutions, which was new to the competition this year.

Narrowed down from 31 original teams, the finalists presented their business plans in ten-minute pitches to a panel of hospitality executives, including Michael Cline '81, managing partner, Accretive LLC; Christopher R. Hemmeter '86, managing director, Quest Hospitality Ventures; William F. Minnock III '79, senior vice president, global operations deployment and program management, Marriott International, Inc.; and Jacob Wright, CEO, Action Companies, Inc. Also competing in the final round were LibeTech, a company that offers digital hotel check-in technology using QSR codes, and Honeybee, which connects local farms and restaurants online and through events.

PIHE created the Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition in 2011 through the generous support of the Sun family, Stanley '00 and his parents Dennis and Betty. Sponsors of the second annual competition were title sponsor Marriott International, HotelPlanner.com, and the Stein family. To learn more about the competition, visit http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/industry/centers/pihe/events/competition/.

About The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship
An operating unit of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the Pillsbury Institute advances the study and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation in the hospitality industry. Through our network of faculty, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs, we give students the knowledge and skills they need to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors. To learn more about the institute, visit www.pihe.cornell.edu.