We’ll post more information soon about

our 2021-22 Entrepreneur Quest (EQ) program.



The EQ 2nd Pitch Competition at Missouri S&T March 20, 2019

Missouri S&T’s three teams advance to the system wide competition after earning high finishes in several rounds of campus-level competitions and reviews. Winners of the March 20th, 2019 Missouri S&T 2nd Pitch Competition are listed below.

Team Safehouse

Missouri S&T’s first place team from the campuswide March competition is “Safehouse” by Yanshuo Zhang, a junior in mechanical engineering from St. Louis, and Erik Lee, a junior in computer science from Chesterfield, Missouri. Safehouse focuses on creating semi-permanent portable shelters for displaced peoples. By using high-grade plastic polymers, the team would create shelters that are adaptable to irregular terrain and can be assembled in a few hours.

“We hope to design more models in the future to aid the homeless and those displaced by natural disasters,” says Lee. “Safehouse was founded on the belief that the development of technology should benefit all peoples, even those who seem worlds apart.”


Team CrunchPillow

The “CrunchPillow,” designed by Yasser Darwish, a Ph.D. student in civil engineering, under the guidance of Dr. Mohamed ElGawady, Benavides Faculty Scholar and Professor of Civil Engineering took second at S&T and will compete in Columbia in April. Darwish says the CrunchPillow aims to “make vehicle crashes as soft as a pillow.” The team developed new bumper panels that can dissipate high levels of impact energy by changing from one shape to another, so when a vehicle is involved in a crash, the panel will dissipate the impact energy protecting both cars.

“The larger scale panels could be used as an impact protection system for bridge structures on the highways and main roads,” says Darwish. “Whenever you have a collision between an over-sized truck and bridge structures, the panels will be compressed and dissipate large portion of the impact energy and protect both the truck driver and bridge structure.”


Team Bionic Bowel

The third-place team to represent Missouri S&T is “Bionic Bowel” by Vanessa Mahan, a junior in biological sciences from Kansas City, Missouri, and Catherine Pollman, a senior in biological sciences from Waynesville, Missouri. By combining their biology studies with some ceramic engineering ideas, the two have worked to use bioactive glass as a way to potentially change the pH level in the body of a Crohn’s disease sufferer. By including the biomaterial in an oral medicine that dissolves and prevents scar tissue, the two realized that they could implant the glass in the human body via a pill to repair the damaged area.

“I’ve noticed that different disciplines in the university talking to each other more often allows them to solve problems from a different angle and consider a combined solution,” says Pollman. “This project has shown me that the research we do can directly impact the lives and wellbeing of people who are hurting. We have the ability to help them to live normal lives and enjoy the world around them, and that is such an incredible opportunity and privilege.”


Socioeconomic Award

Team Safehouse took the Socioeconmic Award on March 20th, 2019


SECON Winners

The Student Entrepreneur Conference (SECON) is an event to showcase and encourage student entrepreneurship and innovation in our region.


1st place – $2000
Collaboarator – Seth Kitchen
2nd place – $1000
Rollout – Brandon Religa
3rd place – $500
Delta Tech – Jonas Buxton

1st place -$150
RollOut – Brandon Religa
2nd place – $100
CrunchPillow – Yasser Darwish
3rd place – $50
Bionic Bowel – Vanessa Mahan

2018-2019 Entrepreneur Quest

Pitch Competition Details

First Round Pitch – a minimum of 10 teams will be selected from the Missouri S&T campus

Date: November 30, 2018

Location: Havener Center-Missouri Ozark Room

Time: 1 pm

Slide Deck for Pitch 1.MST FINAL

Second Round Pitch – 3 teams will be selected (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) from the Missouri S&T campus

Date: March 20, 2019

Location: Havener Center-St. Pat’s

Time: 11 am

 Slide Deck for Pitch 2 and 3.MST FINAL

Third Round Pitch – 3 teams will be selected from the UM System

Date: April 5, 2019

Location: TBD Columbia, MO

Time: TBD

 Slide Deck for Pitch 2 and 3.MST FINAL

8-week EQ Education Program Details

Teams selected from the first round pitch competition will participate in an 8-week educational program designed, developed and taught by Dr. Ronald Kelley (PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison). Dr. Kelley is a successful serial entrepreneur who started his career at Motorola and later switched to tech start up activities. His first company was hydrogen fuel cell technology which resulted in a buy out. We are honored to have someone of his caliber leading this part of the EQ program at Missouri S&T.

The 8-week education program runs from January 7-February 25, 2019. The program includes weekly student presentations, customer discovery and invited guest speakers. Each team is paired with a mentor who has start up and technical experience to guide participants on their journey to entrepreneurship.

Application and Info Session Details

Application Deadline: November 1, 2018 at Midnight

Preview the application questions before you apply by clicking here.

Teams selected for the first pitch contest will be notified on or before November 13th, 2018.

Perks & Benefits

  • Award Money
    • 1st Place: $15,000
    • 2nd Place: $10,000
    • 3rd Place: $5,000
  • 8-week education program for TOP 10 semifinalists from Missouri S&T
  • Dedicated workspace
  • Mentorship from executives, industry leaders, investors, and subject matter experts
  • Pitch competition
  • Champion Round run by UM System at Entrepreneurial Educator Summit in Columbia, MO in the spring
  • Each participant has the opportunity to compete in 2 Demo Days & win up to $30,000


  • Put in your best efforts and submit a strong application
  • Keep deadlines and show up
  • Attend and Participate in curriculum sessions if chosen for the program
  • Excel at Demo Day
  • Entrepreneurial Educator Summit attendance is mandatory for winners

Information Sessions

All Information Sessions will take place in the IDE building Rm G2 and attendance is optional but strongly advised. These Information Sessions will help you craft a better application:

Past Information Session(s):

  • September 24, 5:30 – 7 p.m. – General Information Session

Future Information Session(s):

  • October 1, 5:30 – 7 p.m. – Business Model Canvas
  • October 8, 5:30 – 7 p.m. – Essentials of a Business Plan
  • October 15, 5:30 – 7 p.m. – How to Pitch your Venture and the Application Process

For more information, please contact:
Misty House
NSF/S&T I-Corps Site Program Coordinator
107 IDE

Missouri S&T - Workshops