Winners of the Zahn Prize 2013 received $20,000 for product development, full access to the Zahn Center’s resources, and assistance to launch their product on a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter.

The Zahn Prize is an annual entrepreneurship competition for students, staff, faculty and alumni of City College that is sponsored by the Zahn Center. The prize aims to encourage participants to develop and implement their entrepreneurial ideas, and to understand how to incorporate lean startup principles as they develop their business idea.

The Zahn Prize will be accepting entries until December 2nd, 2013 and will announce the selection of 4 semi-finalist teams by December 13th, that will compete for the Grand Prize of $20,000. Each semi-finalist team will have a budget of $2,000 and a four months bootcamp to advance their business as much as possible, presenting their progress at a final gala held on May 8th, 2014.

Special Note:
This year the Zahn Prize will be closely linked with the Kaylie Prize. If the business idea requires building custom developed hardware, then it should be entered into the Kaylie Prize. If the idea does not involve custom developed hardware, then it is eligible for entry in the Zahn Prize.

  • Entry Criteria

    In order for a team to be eligible to apply for the Zahn Prize, they must fulfill the following criteria:

    • The team must have at least 2 CCNY student members on the team. Other members can be staff, faculty or alumni from CCNY, and also students from other colleges.
    • The entrepreneurial idea should be for-profit and should be a viable business proposition.
  • Competition Timeline

    September 26: Entries officially accepted for Zahn Prize 2014
    November 30: Application submission deadline
    December 13: Announcement of 4 semi-finalist teams
    January – March 2014: Workshops, guest lectures and seminars
    May 8, 2014: Final gala where finalist will be selected
  • Information Sessions

    All information sessions will be held from 12:30-1:30pm at the Zahn Center for Entrepreneurship located in B-20 of the Grove School of Engineering.

    Thursday October 3rd
    Tuesday October 22nd
    Thursday November 7th

    Pizza and refreshments will be provided for all information sessions.
  • Judging Criteria

    The criteria for judging entries and choosing semi-finalist teams will be based on the following points:

    • Novelty of the idea and how it addresses a real problem
    • How it is different and better from what is already on the market
    • Capability and expertise of the team to implement the idea
    • Commitment of the team to continue with the business after the competition is over

    The winner of the prize will be the team that combines the best idea with the most amount of progress made during the semi-final stage.
    *If you are interested to participates but not sure about an idea, or have an idea and are looking for partner, the information sessions are designed to allow for network and partnering.
  • Semi-Finalists

    All semi-finalist teams will be required to meet the following:

    • Meet each week after winter break for 2 hours from 12-2pm during club hours on Tuesday or Thursday, where they will receive a guest lecture or seminar on a topic of interest related to entrepreneurship. These topics include: lean startup methodologies, customer development, sales, financial forecasting, etc. We will also bring experienced entrepreneurs to tell their stories of success
    • Be able to attend the Grand Final Gala in April 2014 to present to a panel of judges made up of investors, entrepreneurs and other members of the startup eco-system in New York

    I am very excited to make the announcement of the 2014 Zahn Prize semi-finalists. This year's semi-finalists are:

    1. CUNY Tutors
    2. OpusTerra L3C
    3. SummonReviewer
    4. ToyLand
    5. YaHerd

    The winner of the $20,000 Zahn Prize will be selected at the Zahn Prize Final on Thursday, May 8th.
  • How to Enter

    Fill out the application which includes a description of your idea in some detail. There is the option to add a youtube video (3 minutes or less) which is greatly encouraged by the judging committee.

If you would like to enter the competition but do not have an idea or team, be sure to attend the information sessions. They are designed to allow for networking and partnering. If you have questions about the competition, feel free to stop by the Zahn Center. You can also send an email to Haytham Elhawary at

To view the results from last year's Zahn Prize, click here.