Engineering Innovation Award Competition

Are you an entrepreneurial undergraduate student with a great idea to impact society?

Have you designed a new, innovative product as part of a class, research or in your garage?

Have you developed a physical prototype that you think is feasible to take to market?


The Cornell Engineering Innovation Award Competition is an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurial students from across the breadth of engineering majors. The Innovation Competition offers student teams that have been working on developing physical prototypes and more fully demonstrated innovations to compete for prizes to support their next stages in the development of their “real world” ideation and concept demonstration experiences. This competition will support will enable students who win the awards to continue with their goal of bringing new products to market.

The Cornell Engineering Innovation Award Competition is a college-wide competition open to all engineering students. Students who have developed business concepts and prototypes in their own “garages” and outside the formal engineering curriculum are encouraged to apply.

The innovation teams may include a broad range of students from across the entire university (for example students with expertise in user interface design) and from all levels (undergraduate to Ph.D.). However, as an undergraduate focused competition, undergraduate students from the engineering college must constitute a majority of each participating team.

Info Sessions

February 22 & April 10, 2018
5:00 PM
Upson B02

Applications Due

April 20, 2018


May 7, 2018


Competition winners will win monetary awards and the chance to participate in future startup opportunities.

The 2018 competiton will feature awards in the following categories:

Ronald ’57 and Frederick ’86 Fichtl Innovation Awards


Unrestricted competition for the most innovative and best developed innovation concept.

Yunni and Maxine Pao Social Innovation Awards


Multi-disciplinary social venture team meeting the following criteria:
– An innovative solution aimed at solving a pressing global challenge;
– A business plan demonstrating a clearly-defined social and/or environmental bottom line;
– The highest and most integrated potential financial and social returns; and
– Clear intent to seek further funding post-graduation, with the aim of bringing the innovation to market.

Ron G. Kermisch Innovation Awards


Special award for an entry that includes implementation of a complex innovation as a fully demonstrated physical prototype.

 An additional award up to $5,000 may be given for an innovation involving sustainable agriculture!


The structure and judging of the competition will be managed by a committee of faculty and entrepreneurial leaders. This committee will determine the judging criteria (spanning business concepts to fully developed and demonstrated prototypes) and assemble the judging panel.

Questions? Find answers here.

How to Apply.

The application period will open soon. Questions? Read our FAQs or email


Read our FAQs