Cornell Case Competition for Family Ownership

The Cornell Case Competition for Family Ownership offers current graduate students a unique opportunity to examine a family enterprise case up close, alongside the family themselves. Take the collaborative elements of a hackathon, combine the analytical elements of a case competition, and include the top MBA students in the world and you have the Cornell Case Competition for Families Ownership. This is a first of its kind event for students and family business experts to demonstrate their understanding of the issues critical to family enterprise. This event will bring together students from leading business schools, select advisors, faculty, and family enterprise leaders sharing their challenges first hand to receive real-time feedback and ideas concerning the future of their enterprise.

The First Cornell Case Competition for Family Ownership was held November 4 & 5, 2022, at Cornell Tech in New York City. Five teams competed over two days with a live case using Cosan as our subject. This was a real-world experience with a complex, multi-national business. Currently, we are planning for our second case competition, which will take place in February 2024. 


The Case

The case will feature family members and senior leadership of an active global family-owned enterprise. The case is written by a Cornell faculty member, under the guidance of the Smith Family Business Initiative. The first part of the case will be sent to teams 7 days prior to the competition.

Teams will have one week to prepare their Part A which will be presented on Day One of the competition. Part B will be presented to students after the first round is complete. Teams will have the remainder of the evening and the next morning to complete their case analysis.

Please note: The Cornell team for the February 2024 case competition has already been selected through an internal competition. We are no longer accepting Cornell applicants.

Interested in participating, sponsoring, or judging? Please contact Daniel Van Der Vliet, the John and Dyan Smith Executive Director of Family Business at to learn more.