Perm Singh, an MBA student at the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno, took home this year’s grand prize of $50,000 at the 11th Annual Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition for his company U-Niq.
U-Niq is a physical collectibles registry that leverages blockchain technology to provide digital certificates of authenticity and ownership. The registry acts as a marketplace for collectors to buy and sell using U-Niq’s digital certificate to transfer ownership of collectibles.
In addition to the Sontag Award, U-Niq also won the Dragonfly Energy Innovation Award, a $10,000 prize donated by Sean Nichols and Denis Phares, co-owners of Dragonfly Energy and finalists in the 2014 Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition.
“I’m blown away that I was able to turn the ideas I had in my head into a company with tremendous potential,” said Singh. “I’ve always felt I should pursue this business and winning both the 2022 Sontag Award and the Dragonfly Energy Innovation Award was further confirmation that I’m on the right track.”
When asked what the Sontag competition means to him, Singh said: “This experience has been incredibly valuable in helping me hone my business and instilling it in others. I told myself when I entered the competition, whether I win or lose, it would force me to develop my business. The competition pushed me out of my comfort zone and I am very grateful for the support of the advisors who guided me and the feedback from the judges.”
The Sontag Finals took place on Thursday April 14th and featured five student-led teams, all aiming to achieve their business dreams.
In addition to U-Niq, four other teams presented their ideas to the jury. The finalists included:
- adventure regulationsa company that meets the needs of adventurers who have dietary restrictions or are otherwise health conscious by offering a greater variety of tastier meals.
- BobaBabesa beverage retail company founded around the increasingly popular tea-based beverage called Boba Tea.
- Team: Sophia Waite and Shaylin Segura
- MacroHydroan AgTech software and hardware company that develops custom, programmable hydroponic management systems.
- Team: Beau Safken, Brian Sneed and Joshua Conken
- TC Corpa company that designs, transports, markets, sells and installs luxury, newly renovated, affordable refrigerators.
- Team: Cesar Tovar and Kylie Eubanks
The Sontag Entrepreneurship Award is made possible by a significant donation from University alumnus Rick Sontag. The $50,000 award is given to the winning team each spring semester to help fund their company’s expansion.