Mun Choi signs large checks

University of Missouri President Mun Y. Choi signs giant checks before awarding them to the three winners of EQ's first UM System competition. First place took home $15,000 in startup funding, second place took $10,000, and third place walked away with $5,000.

The University of Missouri System launched the two-semester Entrepreneur Quest (EQ) program in fall 2018 to help students at Mizzou, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri University of Science and Technology and University of Missouri-St. Louis translate their ideas into viable companies. 

University of Missouri President Mun Y. Choi provided funding for the first year of the program, which was modeled after similar initiatives at the University of Connecticut and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California. 

During EQ's first two years, each of the four universities held their own workshops and pitch competitions. The goal was to help students launch their companies while immersing them in the business world through networking opportunities and coaching from successful entrepreneurs. The most promising teams won funding for their ventures at the campus level and then competed against each other for additional funding from a $30,000 prize pool at the UM System level. EQ was not offered in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Although EQ is no longer offered systemwide, it is still available through the Griggs Innovators Nexus for Mizzou students thanks to corporate and alumni donors.