Student entrepreneurs in the EQ program have the opportunity to win up to $30,000 to jump-start their venture.

Click on your university logo at the top of the page for more information about applying to be part of EQ.


Each University (MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL) holds how-to workshops during the fall semester that cover business models, venture pitching and the EQ application process. University representatives and community leaders choose the most promising applicants, who participate in an elevator pitch competition to narrow the field to 10 semifinalists. Student teams chosen during the first competition have the opportunity to participate in an eight-week EQ educational program.

The educational program includes engaging workshops, mentoring, demo days and coaching from local entrepreneurs. The purpose is to help students research, develop and practice pitching their ideas based on feedback from business leaders, investors and subject-matter experts. At the end of the program, each university holds another pitch competition to choose three finalists from their group of semifinalists. The finalists share a $30,000 award and proceed to the EQ finals.

Twelve teams, three finalists from each UM System university, compete against each other in the UM System finals by pitching their ideas to a panel of judges, much like the television series “Shark Tank.” The top three overall winners share an additional $30,000 to help make their business dreams a reality.

You can find more programs and events on, the university’s free online community for students interested in entrepreneurship and startups. Join projects and venture teams. Connect with mentors, investors and innovators. More than 130 universities and organizations are part of this global platform.