Hospitality Business Plan Competition

The Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition is an annual entrepreneurship event that begins at the start of the academic year when students form teams and deliver 5-minute pitches for their hospitality business concepts. The competition ends in early spring during Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC), when the student teams submit their final business plans and semi-finalist teams make their presentations to a judging panel that selects the top three concepts as winners.

Prizes for the top three finishers total over $75,000 (All prizes subject to tax withholdings as required by IRS regulations). The Business Plan Competition is a meaningful learning experience for students who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial venture and whose ideas serve as new independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages.


Picture of Jonah Gershon with big check. Also pictured are Dean Kate Walsh, Meli James, Diana Dobin, Tyler Carrico, and Linda Canina.First place: spekld
Team Member: Jonah Gershon ’24

Nolan School BusinessFeed: Hotelie’s Brown Butter Startup Wins Hospitality Business Plan Competition (

Business Plan Competition Results by Academic Year


Are you a current student wondering how you can get involved?
Are you seeking information about how you or your company can become a sponsor?
Contact Michelle Mahool at