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Contest Rules

Contest Rules

  1. Eligibility
    1. The competition is open to University of Nevada, Reno students enrolled during the academic year in which the competition is held and in good standing with the University of Nevada.
      1. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits hours to be eligible.
      2. Graduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours to be eligible.
      3. Students not meeting either of the two eligibility requirements above may be eligible if:
        1. They are enrolled according to the requirements above for the first semester of the competition (the semester during which the competition begins).
        2. They were enrolled according to the requirements above in the immediately preceding semester.
    2. University of Nevada students who enter the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition remain eligible to compete in any other business plan competition.
    3. While we do not anticipate doing so, the Competition Committee reserves the right to refuse admittance or to remove from the competition any participant, and to change eligibility rules and requirements at any time, in its sole discretion.
  2. Team composition
    1. University of Nevada students may enter as individuals or as part of a team.
    2. Teams shall consist of one to five members.
    3. Non-students may be advisors, mentors, and/or members of the company formed; however, all team members presenting at competition events must be eligible University of Nevada students as defined above.
    4. Graduate and undergraduate students may be on the same team.
    5. Each team shall designate a team leader.
    6. An individual student may be a member of more than one team in the competition, but may be team leader of only one team.
    7. Changes to the team composition following submission of the Intent to Compete must be approved by the Competition Committee.
  3. The business venture
    1. The business may be a start-up or early stage venture.
    2. A business plan submitted for expanding an existing business may be submitted at the discretion of the Competition Committee.
      1. Business ideas submitted to expand an existing business must exhibit the entrant's clear and significant equity interest in the expanded business.
    3. The proposed business cannot be primarily based upon licensing and selling the product of another firm; however, the proposed business can involve licensing and utilizing a technology developed by another entity.

Competition Timeline:

Business Plan Workshops
Competitors wishing to improve or learn how to develop a business plan before submission may attend one or all of the following open workshops. Workshops will be held at the Innevation Center from 1:00 to 4:00 PM with community and faculty experts ready to assist competitors.   

  • November 5th, 2016
  • November 12th, 2016 
  • November 19th, 2016  

For more information visit our Facebook page.

  1. Sunday, October 30, 2016, 11:59 p.m. Pacific - Deadline to register for the 2017 competition and submit Intent to Compete
  2. Friday, December 30, 2016, 11:59 p.m. Pacific - Final Business Plan Submission
  3. Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - Finalists Announced
  4. Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 11:59 p.m. - Finalist Revised Business Plan Deadline
  5. Saturday, March 1, 2017, 12:00 a.m. - Oral presentations
  6. Monday, March 13, 2017, 11:30 a.m. - Winner announcement Luncheon

Intent to Compete (Competition Registration):

  1. Register for 2017 Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition and complete the Intent to Compete form no later than Sunday, October 30, 2016, 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. Fill out the application.  Note: No other expression of intent to compete will be accepted.
    1. Complete the Intent to Compete form by providing the following:
      1. Team member names, with contact information, class level, and major;
      2. Team leader (designated contact person);
      3. A 1500 character (max) abstract describing the business venture. Note: The initial business description can be altered, as appropriate;
      4. Names and contact information for project advisors and mentors.
    2. The students listed as team members on the Intent to Compete form will be evaluated by the Competition Committee as to their eligibility.
    3. Teams will receive an email regarding team ineligibility by Friday November 4th 2016.
    4. All eligible teams are invited to submit a Business plan.

Fill out the Intent to Compete 

Submission Guidelines:

  1. All materials submitted must meet the requirements and regulations of the competition.
  2. Each team may submit only one Business plan and, then if a finalist, only one revised business plan.
  3. The business plan
    1. must describe original work.
    2. must not contain fabricated or false information.
    3. must appropriately document all sources used.
    4. must clearly indicate that the student(s) entering the Competition will have significant equity interest in the new or expanded business.
    5. may be prepared with or without faculty supervision.
    6. may be prepared in a UNR course for credit, as a component of a UNR independent study course, through the College of Business Entrepreneurship Club (eClub), or as an extra-curricular activity.

    Business Plan Format

    Judging Criterion:

    1. Judges will be selected by the Competition Committee. This committee consists of business professionals and UNR faculty appointed by the Dean of the UNR College of Business.
    2. Judging Criterion
      1. Demonstration of the intention to use the award funds to successfully start the proposed business
      2. Demonstration of the ability to successfully start the proposed business
      3. The likelihood the proposed business will be generating significant revenue within three (3) years.
      4. The potential of the proposed business for growth, job creation, and profitability.

    Funds Disbursement:

    1. A check for $50,000 will be awarded to the winning team at the end of the spring semester
    2. Funds may be used for
      1. Development of the business opportunity
      2. Educational expenses while enrolled as a full-time student at the University of Nevada

    Responsibilities of Participants, Finalists, and the Award Winner:

    1. Participants agree to complete a survey at the close of the competition designed to determine satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement
    2. The Award winner agrees to submit an annual progress report for three years, starting one year after the receipt of the Award, to communicate progress toward business goals.

Contact Us

College of Business (0024)

1664 N. Virginia Street

Reno, NV 89557


Phone (775) 784-4912

Fax (775) 784-1773

Ansari Business Building, 409

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