Industry Update
Press Release 9 October 2015

Business Plan Competition First Place Prize Raised to $25,000

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The Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University

Ithaca, NY -- The Pillsbury Institute's seventh annual Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition has raised the prize for the first place winner to $25,000 and the overall purse to $37,500, making it the largest competition prize package for Cornell students exclusively. Second and third place winners will receive $7,500 and $5,000, respectively. Dr. Susan Fleming, faculty sponsor for the competition, commented "Increasing the prize money aligns us more with competitions on college campuses across the US and will help us to increasingly attract student teams with some of the most promising business ideas and plans on campus. Since the inception of the competition, we have seen the quality of the entries continually improve and more of the businesses actually being launched. We want to support this success and foster further success."

The Cornell Hospitality Business Plan Competition is an annual event at the School of Hotel Administration that begins in November when student teams are formed and executive summaries for business plans are developed. The competition ends in March during Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC) when finalists present their business plans to an audience of alumni and other industry executives, and winners are selected. 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.

Students interested in entering the competition can attend the Pizza Social at the Pillsbury Institute in 289 Statler Hall on October 14 at 4:30 p.m. to learn more about the competition and network with other students interested in participating. The institute has streamlined the registration and submission process, and judging of the competition with the addition of PitchBurner. The competition is open to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students.

About the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship, which opened in 2006, teams students with seasoned faculty and accomplished entrepreneurs to help them develop the knowledge, skills, and practical experience necessary to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. The Pillsbury Institute is also a source of information on creating a hospitality business, managing a small and family-operated business, purchasing a franchise, developing a corporate venture, funding a new venture, and being an innovator.

About the Center for Hospitality Research

The purpose of the Center for Hospitality Research is to enable and conduct research of significance to the global hospitality and related service industries. CHR also works to improve the connections between academe and industry, continuing the School of Hotel Administration's long-standing tradition of service to the hospitality industry. Founded in 1992, CHR remains the industry's foremost creator and distributor of timely research, all of which is posted at no charge for all to use. In addition to its industry advisory board, CHR convenes several industry roundtables each year for the purpose of identifying new issues affecting the hospitality industry.

Center Members: Accenture • Access Point Financial, Inc. • Barclaycard US • Cvent • Davis & Gilbert LLP • Deloitte & Touche USA LLP • DerbySoft • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts • Fox Rothschild LLP • Hilton Worldwide • Host Hotels & Resorts • Hyatt Hotels Corporation • IDeaS Revenue Solutions • InterContinental Hotels Group • Jumeirah Group • Marriott International • NTT DATA • Preferred Hotels & Resorts • • PwC • The Rainmaker Group • RateGain • ReviewPro • Revinate • Sabre Hospitality Solutions • STR • Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces • Tata Consultancy Services • Wipro EcoEnergy • Wyndham Hotel Group

Kristen Ciferri
Cornell University
Phone: 607.255.0179
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