Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be associated with Cornell to submit an idea?
One person on our team does. Our contest is only open to anyone affiliated with Cornell university. (see eligibility page in the official guidelines to see precise definition of Cornell affiliation.)
Where can I find information about submitting an idea to the competition, application requirements, deadline, etc.?
It is all available on this website using the links on the CVC page. You should read the Official Guidelines before submitting an application. The application must be completed and received by BR Venture Fund by March 2nd, 2013 (11:59pm EST).
Can I enter more than one idea in the contest?
Yes – you may enter as many ideas as you wish, but each idea must be submitted on a separate entry form. However, you can only win one time in the 2013 Cornell Venture Challenge, regardless of who else is on the team.
Can I re-submit the same idea I entered in previous competitions?
You may submit the same idea entered in previous competitions provided it has been further developed or some aspect has changed (new market, application, patent, etc.). You have to describe the changes in the Entry Form. Winners in previous years may not submit the same idea again.
For my idea, I have some market data from a couple of articles and websites. Is it acceptable to use this data?
Absolutely. You should cite your sources for market size, etc. Providing estimates is recommended.
All the information you need for my submission is in my 30 page business plan/ website. Can I submit the link/old business plan instead of filling out the application form?
No, we will only accept entries in the described format.
What should I allocate to each section on the application form?
You may allocate the amount of each section as you wish, as long as the entire submission is less than three pages. Each business idea has different key drivers. Weight more heavily on those drivers that are most important, and provide an answer for each section.
I want to include a small graphic or diagram for visual representation purposes. What can I do?
Attach graphics on the official form; this attachment cannot exceed 1 page.
What is the length limitation, 2 or 3 pages?
The entry form is limited to three pages. The graphics can be a supplement of up to one additional page.
Will a representative of Cornell University sign a non-disclosure agreement at idea submission?
As part of the competition, we do not formally sign nondisclosure agreements (NDA). You will find that this is the convention of most venture firms due to the breadth and number of ideas that are presented. However, we make all reasonable efforts to keep your idea confidential and within the BR Venture Fund Managers and 2013 Cornell Venture Challenge judging panel. Finalists will present in front of a public audience at the Cornell Venture Challenge and it is the responsibility of the finalists to ensure that all material in the presentation is appropriate for the public.
Who gets to present during the final round on?
After the submission deadline BR Venture Fund will appoint a Screening Panel who will evaluate each entry and will invite the best teams to present their ideas to a select group of Finalist Judges (Venture Capitalist, Lawyers, and Entrepreneurs) at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, in Ithaca, NY. The finalist will also have the opportunity to participate at invitational events as part of the Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration. Finalists Presentation Guidelines will be available to the selected teams.
Does BR Venture Fund compensate finalist for travel expenses?
BR Venture Fund does not compensate teams for any expense product of their participation in the final round.
If an idea is accepted and a venture started based on it, how is the inventor involved and how will he/she benefit from its evolution?
If you are an inventor and begin a new venture, we would encourage you to patent your ideas and seek legal advice. Inventors often have a stake in a company and may share in that company’s success.
I’m worried about dealing with venture capitalists. Aren’t they out to steal ideas?
No, venture capitalists are interested in funding promising ideas because they see a potential increase in their investment in a company. Venture capitalists that provide too little funding for too much equity in a company do not motivate the entrepreneurs and do not last long in this business.