The Sontag Entrepreneurship Award Competition ("Competition") has been established by the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno to develop the entrepreneurial capacities of University of Nevada, Reno students and facilitate the creation of new businesses in Nevada.
The Sontag Entrepreneurship Award ("Award") was funded with a major gift from alumnus Rick Sontag to the University of Nevada in 2011. The endowment created by the gift will fund the award in perpetuity. The Award is a single prize of $50,000, given at the end of each spring semester to the winner of the competition, which takes place throughout the academic school year.
The Award and Competition is administered by the Sontag Award Committee ("Committee"), appointed by the Dean of the College of Business. The Committee, establishes the rules and regulations for the Competition, manages Competition submissions, selects judges, promotes the Competition and seeks to ensure its quality, and advises the Dean regarding decisions that must be made to resolve issues associated with the Award or the Competition. Board members from the Nevada Capital Investment Corporation, a state-funded organization founded to spur capital investment and job creation in Nevada, will be judging the final business proposals. The Dean of the College of Business is the final authority over any issue related to the Award or Competition.
The Committee will work to provide a support structure for student participants. The business plan requirements are part of this structure, aimed to ensure each business idea is carefully developed and evaluated. Because the Award is to be used to assist the winner in developing the business, the required business plan must describe how these funds would be used. Relationships between student teams and community business leaders will be facilitated and encouraged, and mentoring will be made available.
The vision for the Competition and Award is the development of both the next generation of entrepreneurs and new business ventures. As the Sontag Entrepreneurship Award launches innovative student business ventures over the coming years and spurs the development of increasing numbers of entrepreneurs, the University of Nevada, Reno will become increasingly recognized within the state for enhancing economic development through entrepreneurship.
Learn more about the Competition rules.