Congratulations to the EQ Semifinalists!

Five alumni judges with entrepreneurial backgrounds awarded spots in MU’s EQ program to 11 teams after evaluating the top 15 applicants at the Nov. 18 pitch competition on campus. This year, more than 50 teams applied to be part of EQ at Mizzou. See who won the 2018 EQ fall pitch competition.

What’s Next?

The semifinalists will participate in an eight-week educational program and advance to another pitch competition on March 16, 2020 (3 p.m., Leadership Auditorium, MU Student Center). The three winners from that competition will split $30,000 in awards and compete for an additional $30,000 at the University of Missouri System Pitch Competition on April 8, 2020 (check back here for more details about the spring semester competitions). Mizzou students won first and third place overall in the 2019 UM System EQ finale.

EQ Teams and Ventures, 2019-20

The students who presented on behalf of the top 11 teams represent five MU colleges and schools and 11 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Although they have diverse backgrounds and interests, they all share an entrepreneurial mindset: Thinking creatively, pushing boundaries and actively taking measures to make their business ideas a reality.


Zach Cook

Zach Cook, MBA graduate student (Vesta: One-stop cold storage container for the e-food and beverage delivery industry)

Trent Esser and Hayden Seidel

Trent Esser, business management & Hayden Seidel, civil & environmental engineering (Printerior: Custom-made furniture from 3D recycled plastics)

Maxwell Fazekas

Maxwell Fazekas, electrical engineering graduate student (Max Fix: Economical cell phone repairs)

David Goddard

David Goddard, finance graduate student (Kimberling City Bait and Tackle: Guide service, gear and lures)

Daniel Hoffman

Daniel Hoffman, executive MBA student (Norah Health: Platform to increase patient satisfaction and payment reimbursements)

James Hopfenblatt

James Hopfenblatt, architectural studies digital media design (avanzAR: Evidence-based stroke rehabilitation game platform)

Emily Housey

Emily Housey, journalism strategic communication (Housey Designs LLC: Customizable products and art for Generation Z)

Hayden McCarter

Hayden McCarter, business management (Scoreboard: eSports bar and tournament location for gamers)

Drew Patel

Drew Patel, computer science (Pollinate: Blockchain login for package deliveries in developing countries)

Vanessa Ramirez

Vanessa Ramirez, political science, & Daniel Serres, political science and communications (Fresher Than U: Provides canvases on everyday items, such as car air fresheners, to showcase the work of digital graphic artists)

Madison Read

Madison Read, graphic design (Doodle Bed: Creates art on white sheets for hospital patients to color with markers, which which can reduce their anxiety and stress)

MU alumni judges

MU alumni judges, from left: Foster Honeck, BA ’15, chief of staff, Troutwine Ventures; Kelsey Raymond, BS BA, ’11, co-founder & CEO of Influence & Co.; Nickie Davis, BGS ’09, executive director of The District Downtown Columbia & owner of Muse Clothing; Jeremyah Grigery, BS BA ’12, director of digital marketing, Veterans United Home Loans & owner of Nostalgiaville USA; & Zach Beattie, BS BA ’14, CEO and founder of Off The Grid; co-founder of SafeTreck


About EQ

EQ provides workshops, tools and mentoring to help students from any degree program make their business ideas a reality. Participants have the opportunity to win up to $30,000 to jump-start their venture. Watch our two-minute video for more details.

Your Contact:
Dr. Greg Bier, EQ Director
1210c MU Student Center, Columbia, Missouri 65211
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