2012 Competition Results

Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition 2012 Winner: Mining Environmental Technology and Services

A huge round of applause to the winners of the 2012 Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition, Mining Environmental Technology and Services (METS). At a luncheon on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, METS received a check for $50,000 to help launch a business developing, producing, and marketing optical instruments to detect potentially harmful airborne particulates in mining workplace. Team members include David Karr, Ben Sumlin, Heather Zunino and Bryan Rainwater. Congratulations are also in order for the competition finalists whose solid business proposals made this competition such a difficult one to judge. Thanks must be extended to Rick and Susan Sontag for their generous gift that kick-started this competition and to everyone who helped administer and manage the competition.

2012 Finalist Teams

We were pleased to receive several high-quality business plans this year. This first year has been a great success so far. Seven judges evaluated the proposals and all proposals were evaluated by at least two judges. A judging rubric was used to evaluate the plans and create consistency in evaluations. Ultimately six finalists were decided up as having the greatest potential to create jobs in Nevada and positively impact the Nevada economy:


BoxFeeds is dedicated to encouraging breweries to focus on sustainability by converting waste products from the brewing process to viable products for other markets. Team members are:

  • Kelsey Plank, Chemical Engineering
  • Zachary Karmiol, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Morgan Vonnahme, Chemical Engineering
  • Brannon Orr, Chemical Engineering
  • Arianna Rosen, Chemical Engineering
  • Bradley Moakler, Chemical Engineering


Entropy Fuel Systems is an idea dedicated to reshaping the direction and progress of ethanol production in the United States and around the world. Team members are:

  • Keaton W. Cooley-Rieders, Business (sole team member)


Envirohaven will revolutionize the "Green" housing industry by manufacturing self-contained, energy producing, and efficiently designed home packages that can be easily assembled anywhere. Team members are:

  • Clint Borchard, Business Management
  • Vicki Bischoff, MBA
  • Manpreet Kaur, Accounting
  • Shaun Cameron, Communication Studies and Information Systems
  • Adair Melendez, Mechanical Engineering


GrabiTech will manufacture, package, and distribute the Tag n' Grab notification system: software and hardware designed to aid consumers in keeping track of their personal belongings. Team members are:

  • Justin Yang, Electrical Engineering
  • Felicia Groso, Electrical Engineering
  • James Malone, Business
  • Victor Morrow, Electrical Engineering
  • Cho Yu Chong, Electrical Engineering

Mining Environmental Technology and Services (METS)

METS will develop, produce, and market optical instruments to detect potentially harmful airborne particulates in mining work places.
Team members are:

  • David Karr, Physics
  • Bryan Rainwater, Physics
  • Ben Sumlin, Physics
  • Heather Zunino, Physics


Modphalt Green Asphalt Technology encapsulates ground tire rubber (GTR) particles with a polymer to create a solution in the asphalt roofing industry. Team members are:

  • Brett Shaffner, Information Systems and International Business
  • Chelsea Hejny, Marketing
  • James Eckvahl, General Studies
  • Wesley Clary, Chemical Engineering

2012 Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition Statistics

  • 74 teams submitted an "Intent to Enter" in February.
  • 35 teams submitted "Preliminary Overview" business plans in mid-March.
  • 6 teams were selected on April 2nd as Finalists to compete for the $50,000 Grand Prize