Rules and registration

The following rules apply to the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition and the qualifications to compete. Key dates and competition registration are included, as well. Other resources available to help teams qualify can be found on the Sontag Resources page


The Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition is open to all full-time University of Nevada, Reno students enrolled and in good standing during the academic year of the competition. To be considered a full-time student, undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, and graduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours. A student may also be eligible if they were enrolled full-time in the preceding school year. (Inquire with a competition administrator.)

University of Nevada students who enter the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition remain eligible to compete in any other business plan competition.

To ensure the integrity of the competition, the Competition Committee reserves the right to, at any point in time, change eligibility rules, change the competition requirements or use its discretion to refuse admittance to or remove from the competition any participant.


Competition registration

Register to qualify for the 2023 Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition and complete the Intent to Compete form no later than Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time).

Applicant teams must:

  1. Fill out the application. Complete the Intent to Compete form by providing the following:
    • Team member names, with contact information, class level, and major; the students listed as team members on the Intent to Compete form will be evaluated by the competition committee as to their eligibility
    • Team leader (designated contact person)
    • A 1500-word (max) abstract describing the business venture. Note: The initial business description can be altered, as appropriate
    • Names and contact information for project advisors and mentors
  2. Submit Business Model Canvas worksheet(s) for their business concept
  3. Submit an abstract describing the business venture (1,500 word maximum)

Sontag intent to complete form

Teams will receive an email by Tuesday, January 31, 2023 regarding team eligibility and indicating whether they have been selected for a qualifying interview.

Note: No other expression of intent to compete will be accepted.

Judging process

Teams wishing to participate in the Sontag competition will submit a 1,500-word (max) abstract describing the business venture and a business model canvas.

Selected teams that qualify for the Sontag competition will pitch their idea live in front of a group of judges.

The teams accepted to move on are considered quarter-finalists. These teams will submit a six-minute video pitch and written business plan. From this group of teams, those that are accepted to continue are the semi-finalists. These teams will present live to a group of judges, who will ultimately determine who the finalists are. 

The finalist teams will submit their revised six-minute video pitch and written business plan. These teams will also present their finalized pitch live to a new group of judges. A winner will then be selected and the chosen team will receive $50,000.

Below is a more in-depth timeline of the judging process:

  1. Submit six-minute video and written business plan – by 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, 2023 
    • Note: Business plans are limited to a maximum of 11 pages (including cover page and any appendices)
  2. Judges will select semi-finalists by Wednesday, March 15, 2023
  3. Second round of Interviews (pitches followed by Q&A) for Sontag semi-finalists – Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25, 2023 (if two days needed)
  4. Teams that have been selected as Sontag finalists – notified no later than Tuesday, March 28, 2023
  5. Finalist teams submit final six-minute video, business plan, pitch deck, and any internet-based content or streaming they intend to use in their final presentation – no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 14, 2023
    • Note: Teams can continue to make revisions to their pitch deck up until Tuesday, April 18, 2023
  6. Sontag final presentations and announcement of winner – event begins at 5:00 p.m., Thursday, April 20, 2023


If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Dick Bartholet, Sontag Competition Director, at or (775) 784-6878.

You can also stop by the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship in Ansari Business Room 402.