The University of Missouri System has postponed the Entrepreneur Quest program until the 2021-22 academic year as leaders continue to monitor COVID-19 and its financial implications. We know, however, that our students’ creativity and enthusiasm for new ideas never stops. In fact, many successful companies were founded during times like these. The university has experts, programs, courses and resources designed to help new entrepreneurs and young companies succeed. Click on a link below for more information.

Empowering Student Entrepreneurs

The University of Missouri System’s EQ program helps students translate their ideas into viable companies by immersing them in the business world through networking opportunities, coaching from successful entrepreneurs and real-world experiences with the commercialization process. Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 UM System EQ finale: Pollinate from MU, first place; Bionic Bowel from Missouri S&T, second place; and Vest Heroes from UMKC, third place. See news release and feature story.

The Program

MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL hold workshops during the fall semester that cover business models, venture pitching and the EQ application process. University representatives and business leaders choose the most promising applicants, who participate in the first EQ pitch competition to narrow the field to a smaller group of semifinalists. Student teams chosen during this competition have the opportunity to participate in an eight-week EQ educational program during the spring semester.

The educational program includes engaging workshops, mentoring, demo days and coaching from local entrepreneurs. The purpose is to help students research and develop their companies and practice pitching their ideas with valuable feedback from business leaders, investors and subject-matter experts. At the end of the program, each university holds a second pitch competition to choose three finalists from their group of semifinalists. Read about top three from Mizzou, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL.

Twelve teams, three finalists from each UM System university, compete against each other in the UM System finale by pitching their ideas to a panel of judges, much like the television series “Shark Tank.” See news release and feature story about 2020 winners. Read about the 2019 competition.

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.