2023 EQ winners with large checks

The winners of Entrepreneur Quest 2023 are, left to right: First place, law student Parker Owens, for Parker's Brick Builds, which offers customized build kits using LEGO-style blocks; second place, Lauren Compton, nursing doctoral candidate, for her freeze-dried breast breast milk service; and third place, Jia Wu, textile and apparel management doctoral candidate, for her sustainable period underwear for people with disabilities.


EQ logo

Entrepreneur Quest (EQ) is an opportunity for any full-time Mizzou student to create a new venture. EQ provides the workshops, tools, networking, mentoring and a $30,000 prize pool to help you translate your ideas and side hustles into viable and scalable businesses. Work with like-minded peers, immerse yourself in the startup world and receive coaching from successful entrepreneurs. 


Fall semester 2024

Aug. 1
EQ application opens.

Sept. 5, 5 p.m.
Applications are due.

Sept. 10
Top 15 applicants are notified.

Sept. 17, 4-7 p.m.
The 15 semifinalists compete in an elevator pitch competition before a panel of judges who choose 10 finalists with the most scalable ventures. The audience favorite receives $2,000.

Sept. 18
Ten finalists are notified of acceptance into EQ program.

Sept. 30 to Nov. 11
The finalists participate in EQ's education program and receive mentoring from entrepreneurial leaders, inventors and other experts.

Nov. 19, 4-7 p.m.
Judges award seed funding to three teams for their ventures during EQ's final pitch competition.

Winners receive a lump sum investment along with the opportunity to win additional funding (called an earnout) if they achieve jointly agreed upon milestones by May 15, 2025.

  • First place: $10,000 with an additional $5,000 earnout
  • Second place: $6,000 with an additional $4,000 earnout
  • Third place: $3,000 with an additional $2,000 earnout

EQ is sponsored by Hawthorn Bank, the U.S. Bank Foundation and the employees of Veterans United Home Loans.

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Contact us

1210 MU Student Center
Email: innovators@missouri.edu Phone: 573-882-2073