2014 Competition Results

Congratulations to the winner of the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition 2014

The University of Nevada, Reno's Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition winner, Irrigo, is the recipient of $50,000, which will help further develop water efficiency services for flood irrigated agriculture. Using flood gate automation, field surveys and water and soil sensors all connected to the cloud, Irrigo is developing a more efficient way to irrigate agricultural fields.

Finalists Teams

December 11, 2013, we had the pleasure to announce that for the 2014 year of the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition we have seven finalists. Each of these seven finalists will receive $1,000 to help validate their business model or product along with additional mentoring and workshops before they present to the finalist judges. The seven teams, in alphabetical order, are: DragonFly Energy, DxDiscovery, Fitify, Irrigo, Leaf2Skin, Muse and Wasted.

These finalists represent a wide range of ages (the youngest competitor is 18 and in his first semester at UNR) and a variety of business models from fashionable eyewear products to an evolution in lithium-ion batteries. We're excited to see where the finalists will go!

  • Dragonfly Energy is a Reno-based technology company focusing on affordable energy storage solutions for a wide variety of moderate-power applications. Through a combination of innovative product development and research development, Dragonfly Energy aims to make lithium ion batteries more widespread in markets dominated by lead acid batteries.  
    Team members: EMBA students Sean Nichols and Denis Phares and mechanical engineering doctoral student, Justin Ferranto.  
  • DxDiscovery is hoping to improve local competitiveness in the global knowledge based economy with their local biotechnology company that offers further economic development and growth in northern Nevada. "The mission of DxDiscovery is to improve global health and well-being through development of antibody-based diagnostics and therapeutics," David Maine, graduate student in economics and DxDiscovery business manager, said.
    Team members: David Maine, graduate student in economics and Mark Hubbard, University microbiology doctoral graduate.  
  • Fitify seeks to offer men’s clothing, through a monthly subscription from small and medium size clothing companies, along with established favorites, without the hassle of shopping.
    Team members: Garret Gunter, information systems and computer science major; Jordan Worley, MBA student and Lino Carnesecca, information systems major. 
  • Irrigo is developing water efficiency services for flood irrigated agriculture using flood gate automation, field surveys, various water and soil sensors, all connected to the cloud; to model the most efficient way to irrigate a field. Agriculture is a $5.3 billion business in Nevada, yet the state is the most arid in the country.
    Team members: Brian Blair, MBA student
  • Leaf2Skin has created a unique, holistic skincare line that soothes common dermatological issues such as eczema, psoriasis, dry skin and shingles by using all-natural organic ingredients.
    Team members: Shaun Davidson, computer science major; Wilson Wanene, MBA student; Leslie Williams, MBA student; Jillian Ouellette, marketing major; Clint Borchard, business management major. 
  • Muse aims to change how a conductor practices with its software. Conductors are not able to practice their conducting as musicians can practice their instruments. Many conductors spend hours practicing in the mirror and must visualize their imaginary orchestra. 
    Team members: Cris Ruggieri, computer science and engineering and international affairs major; Chase Carthen, computer science and engineering major and Justice Colby, computer science and engineering major. 
  • Wasted Eyewear
    Wasted Eyewear's goal is to make highly functional sunglasses out of recycled, reused material for the creation of a unique product and the betterment of the environment. 
    Team member: Julian Sander,  a freshman at the University.