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.

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 entrepreneurs. The purpose is to help students research and develop their companies and practice pitching their ideas with valuable feedback from entrepreneurial leaders, investors and experts. At the end of the program, each university holds a second pitch competition to choose three winners.

If funding becomes available in 2022, winners from Mizzou, UMKC, Missouri S&T and UMSL will compete in a third pitch competition in front of a panel of judges, much like the television series “Shark Tank.”

See news release and feature story about the 2020 winners. Read about the 2019 competition. The university did not offer Entrepreneur Quest during the 2020-21 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can find more programs and events on missouri.startuptree.com, 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 125 universities and organizations are part of this global platform.

Video: Highlights From EQ’s Inaugural Year Finale, April 2019