Team Application


Who’s Eligible?
Any full-time undergraduate or master’s student in a U.S.A. or Canadian college/university (except Cornell—We’re the hosts!). Teams are made up of 3-5 eligible students. You do not need a full team or a faculty advisor yet to register.

Can we really create just about anything for our entry?
Yes, you can create any project around embedded systems / Internet of Things / mechatronics / etc. project you want as long as it features key components based on Arm technology—and it should be legal and in general non-harmful too. You can check out the full rules on the resources page.

We encourage you to use school projects that you might already be doing as your entry—and then use the Cup as an opportunity to possibly win additional financial support, expert reviews, and other prizes to make your project truly worthy of international recognition.

Do you have any suggestions on project themes?
Of course! Arm and our ecosystem of partners are driving technological innovation around the world, especially in the following areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Embedded systems for IoT
  • Healthcare
  • Automotive
  • Robotics and Mechatronics
  • Wearables
  • Energy Management
  • Rehabilitative and assistive tech
  • Smart Agriculture

Some sponsors may also offer special optional awards and even team mentoring and advice throughout the Cup application period with their own themes. So be sure to check them out too!

Can the Cornell Cup on Arm help me get a really great job?
The entire competition process, starting with the application, is designed to help you improve whatever project you’re doing and showcase your skills & talents to the world. Our sponsors will also be blindly reviewing your work to potentially invite you to special job & internship interviews.

If you’re also using your Cup project as part of a school project, worst case, applying for the Cup will help you create a better project, which will lead to a better grade, and both will help make you more attractive to companies and help you get a better job—plus you might just win an invitation to NASA and $10,000 on top of that!

Register Your Team!
Before you even apply, register your team by filling out this simple form. We’ll let you know about:

      • Upcoming free online Q&A sessions with David Schneider
      • Special Offers & Discounts to Cup Teams—just for registering
      • Special Awards from Our Sponsors & Partners
      • Reminders on Key Dates
      • Latest news and updates

Application Submission Periods
There are three application submission periods, each two weeks apart (See our timeline). All submission periods are given equal consideration. But you can submit in an early period and if you aren’t yet accepted to the semi-finals, you can rework sections to submit in a later submission period. The best submission in each period also wins an additional half-hour mentoring session with experts from the Cornell Cup competition!

Application Questions & How to Make Your Project Great!
The application was carefully crafted to help you think about important parts of the design process and ultimately make your project stronger. One year in the competition, we offered a shorter version of the application–those teams that completed the original application scored on average 40% higher in the semi-finals than those that didn’t–so the application can really make your project better!

In fact, the application and the Cup’s free professional design guides were one of seven University Efforts to be recognized in the 2015 White House Fact Sheet of Making and one of nine in 2016.

Go to the resources page to download:
• The application questions & rules
• A sample application with helpful comments on why it’s written this way
• A detailed rubric–fairness in judging is important!

Blind Reviews
With all this freedom for you to create, we spent a lot of time to develop judging criteria that has been recognized as being fair by students, faculty, and sponsors alike. Be sure to check it out on the resources page.

As part of the fairness, all applications are blind reviewed. The judges don’t know your names, your school, your professor’s name, your gender, your race, etc. If you are selected as a semi-finalist you earned it on your own merits—so everyone has a chance to prove they’ve got what it takes!

How to Submit Your Application
It’s easy. To submit your application, simply send an email to with:

• Your team name (as listed in your team registration so we can contact you later)
• Your completed answers to the application questions as a Word doc (no PDFs please)
• Optionally an additional PDF for your optional timeline and budget appendix

Application Decisions
Application decisions are sent out by email roughly one week after each application submission deadline. Applications submitted during the first two application submission periods, that are not yet accepted to the semi-finals, will receive high level feedback to help those teams improve and resubmit their application in a later application submission period.

Have Questions?
The Cornell Cup prides itself on being a very open & fair competition. All of the rules and judging criteria can be found on the resources page as well as our free guides. Plus, every part of the Cup has its own FAQ-like walk through, just like this page.

If you have questions, please try attending one of our free weekly Q&A sessions. Or if you have a more straightforward question, please feel free to email us at We’d love to hear from you!