Cornell Cup USA

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Cornell Cup
Cornell Cup, Grand Prizes
Data Analytics Award
Entrepreneurship Award
People's Choice Award
Wild Card Award
Media Award
Sponsored byarm, MathWorks, Altera, SolidWorks, Maxon Motor, Kionix[1]
DateMay 3, 2019 (2019-05-03)
LocationKennedy Space Center, Orlando, Florida
CountryUnited States
Presented byCornell Systems Engineering
Hosted byCornell University
Preshow host(s)Cornell University
  • US$10,000 Grand prize
  • $5,000 Second place
  • $2,500 Third place
  • $2,500 Entrepreneurship Award
  • $1,000 Data Analytics Award
  • $1,000 Media Awards
First awarded2012
Last awarded2015

The Cornell Cup is an annual college-level embedded design competition created by Cornell Systems Engineering and hosted by Cornell University. The competition was an initiative originally created by Cornell University and Intel, and now partnered with Arm, to "empower student teams to become the inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology".[2] The competition is designed to allow college students the opportunity to transform ideas into real products with actual results. Various awards are given with a range of prizes between $1,000 and $10,000.[3][4]


The competition was announced in late 2011 by Intel as a way of finding and encouraging college students to develop ideas and transform them into robust products. The competition is built based on the highly successful Intel Cup China that attracts over 26,000 students annually.


To qualify for the application stage, a team must be formed with the following requirements:[2]

  • The team must be between 3 and 5 students
  • Each student must be enrolled full-time in any accredited U.S. university
  • Students must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or masters
  • Students must be engineering, science, or computer science students
  • Students must complete the application stage by the designated deadline

Competition summary[edit]

Young Guru speaking at the 2014 event

The competition involves two stages: an applications stage and a finalists stage.

Applications Stage[edit]

The application stage typically takes place in the months the previous year of the competition. Teams must complete an application which includes a team interest form, a competition integrity form, and a 7 application questions form by the designated deadline. Applications are reviewed by the Cornell review team which in turn selects up to 35 of the top application submissions.[5] The selected team can then participate in the final competition.

Finalists Support[edit]

Finalists are given an array of support as they work through their plan.[2]

  • Hardware - Each team is given the latest Intel Atom board. The board is equipped with an Intel Atom, an FPGA, and a large array of I/O. Additionally various other equipment is provided from secondary sponsors.
  • Funding - Each team is provided $1,500 in financial support to aid their project and team.
  • Access - Each team is given direct access to Intel technical leaders other sponsoring companies' experts who are designing and developing embedded hardware and application commercially.
  • Training - Cornell Systems Engineering offers an online guide system to hone students professional design skills
  • Invitation - Teams are invited to the public expo

Finalists Stage[edit]

The top application submissions that have been chosen have roughly half a year to make their project come to fruition. The teams are responsible for following through their application. A final report is required to be submitted by the deadline. The competition holds an all-day public expo during May where judges hear a six-minutes pitch, asking questions, examining posters, and checking out the demos. Each team undergoes a more in-depth, private review process.[6][7]

During the final day of the expo, the winners are announced and awarded first, second, or third place in various categories. Various other sponsors may potentially offer special awards to various teams in addition to these awards. The expo takes place at Walt Disney World in May.


The teams presenting their projects at the 2014 expo

During the expo a number of awards will be given away in addition to the grand prize award.

Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel Grand Prizes[edit]

The top 3 highest total score winners will be awarded first, second, and third Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel Grand Prizes respectively. Winners are typically announced during the final day of the expo.

The grand prize winner will receive $10,000. Second place team will receive $5,000. Third place team will receive $2,500.[8]

People's Choice Award[edit]

During the Cornell Cup Expo, all competition participants will be able to have a single vote for their choice of team. These votes will determine the winning team. People's Choice Award will go to the team receiving the most participants' votes but did not win one of the 3 grand prizes.

Wild Card Award[edit]

Teams that have successfully submitted an application, but were not chosen as finalists are allowed to submit a final report. Their final report must follow the same rules and guidelines as the finalists. The Wild Card Award is given to a team who were deemed strong enough by the review judges.

Media Award[edit]

Each of the finalist team must create an On-line Chronicle blog using the template provided by the competition. They must also generate social network and media buzz by publishing updates on various channels. The Media Award are judged by members of the media, which is based on team blogs, online channels, and their presentation at the expo.

The top two teams will receive $1,000 awards.[3]

Entrepreneurship Award[edit]

In 2014 the competition added a new award, the Entrepreneurship Award, where teams can create a business plan around their Cornell Cup project which could be pitched to venture capitalists. The award was created due to a great interest by past teams that wanted to turn their creative competition inventions into entrepreneurial opportunities after the Cup's final expo.

The winner of the Entrepreneurship Award will receive $2,500.[9]

Past winners[edit]

The teams presenting their projects at the 2014 expo

Cornell Cup 2012[edit]

  • Cornell Cup Grand Prizes[10]
  1. First Place - IVS, Portland State University
  2. Second Place - HAWK, University of Pennsylvania
  3. Third Place - Team Squirtle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cornell Cup 2013[edit]

  1. First Place - Titan, University of Pennsylvania[13][14]
  2. Second Place - Cyber Physical Systems, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  3. Third Place - Intracell, University of Colorado Denver

Cornell Cup 2014[edit]

The 3rd annual award was held on May, 2014.

  • Cornell Cup Grand Prizes
  1. First Place - Smart Robotic Prosthetic Hand, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  2. Second Place - SAFE, Portland State University
  3. Third Place - Submersibles, Penn State

Cornell Cup 2015[edit]

The Cornell Cup 2015 winners will be announced on May 3, 2015.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sponsors - 2013". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "About". Cornell University. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel accepting applications for third annual competition". Cornell Cup USA. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Cornell Cup USA". Women in ECE. Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Team Info". Cornell Cup USA. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Cornell Cup: Be awesome all the time | EDN". EDN. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Cornell Cup". EDN. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "Top Engineering Students to Square Off at Cornell Cup USA by Intel". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Optional Entrepreneurship Award Rules". Cornell Cup. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Award Winners for Inaugural Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel". Cornell Cup. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Award Winners for 2013 Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  12. ^ "College Seniors Designing for Seniors". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Penn Seniors Construct Exoskeleton Arm". The O&P Edge. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  14. ^ IntelPR (May 8, 2013). "Chip Shot: University of Pennsylvania Team Wins Cornell Cup for Innovative Titan Arm Project". Intel Newsroom. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "Your own black box". Yahoo. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  16. ^ Aadeel Akhtar (May 8, 2014). ""SmartCollar" team earns People's Choice honors at Cornell Cup USA". ECN Magazine. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved May 8, 2014.

External links[edit]