Open to all current Cornell Undergraduate Students. Eight finalists will be determined by a group of experienced entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, non-profit, and business professionals. Semi-finalists will also receive consultations with a mentor/coach about their idea and ways to improve their submission.
$9,000 in prizes are supported by the Vijay (MEng ’75) and Sita Vashee Promising Entrepreneur Award Endowment Fund.
- 1st Place Business Category- $3000
- 2nd Place Business Category- $1000
- 3rd Place Business Category- $500
- 1st Place Social Category- $3000
- 2nd Place Social Category- $1000
- 3rd Place Social Category- $500
- March 8, 2019 Application Deadline
- March 22, 2019 Eight Finalists Announced
- April 12, 2019 BIG Idea Competition Finale – Three minutes to present to live audience of peers, faculty, entrepreneurs, distinguished guests, and public audience this year at eHub Collegetown, Third Floor (305 Multipurpose Room). The winners will be selected based upon a combination of rankings by judges and audience popular vote.
An idea can be submitted by a “team” (consisting of multiple people), but all team members must be current Cornell Undergraduate Students. Only one person needs to fill out the form and put their name on it.
If you have previously entered The Big Idea Competition (formerly known as The Undergraduate Business Idea Competition), you can re-enter your exact same idea or a different idea. If you previously won prize money from the competition, you are not allowed to enter your previous winning idea.
Entries must be early-stage ideas, and not developed businesses. As such, an idea that already has a functioning business associated with it will not be accepted. Specifically, the idea:
- Cannot be generating revenues
- Cannot already have received funding or financing of any form
- Must not have previously been accepted into an accelerator or incubator
- Cannot have any legal form of incorporation
Once submitted the idea is finalized for that round, if the team/individuals advance in the competition the idea may be amended based on comments and feedback from mentor/coach. Although amendments can be made, the fundamental idea cannot change from round to round.