Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Innovation Quest (iQ)

Innovation QuestInnovation Quest (iQ) empowers and supports innovators and entrepreneurs to build interdisciplinary teams to go from ideas to prototypes to companies. iQ is designed to encourage innovators to pursue their ideas and help with the funding needed to launch their business. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded students to showcase what they’ve built, coded, designed or prototyped throughout their efforts at Cal Poly.

Founded in 2003 by Cal Poly graduates and business leaders, Carson Chen (Electrical Engineering, ’73), Richard Boberg (Electrical Engineering, ’70), and Laura Pickering (Electrical Engineering, ’84), iQ has already awarded more than $300,000 in support of Cal Poly innovators and entrepreneurs who have used the program as a platform to launch successful businesses.

Initial applications for Innovation Quest are due in the winter quarter with finalist selection and presentations taking place in the spring. This year’s deadline to apply is March 3rd. Apply at


2015-2016 Prizes

$15,000:   1st Place Innovation Award
$10,000:   Rich and Jackie Boberg Innovation Award
$5,000:    Third Place Prize


2016 Winners

1st Place Innovation Award:
Mantis Composites -Intricate Composite Parts

2nd Place Rich and Jackie Boberg Innovation Award:
DroneFox - Drone Detection and Interception

3rd Place Award:
ObserVR - Virtual Reality Application

Innovators and entrepreneurs from all of the colleges at Cal Poly have successfully competed in iQ 
and formed companies, with many remaining involved and giving back to the program that helped them 
when they were students. 

View Past Award Winners  Find Upcoming iQ Events  

Check out that latest updates and look for information on team formation on Facebook @CPInnovationQuest. 

Learn more about the annual competition and iQ process from our newest YouTube video:

For additional information or questions about the competition please contact the faculty director, Thomas Katona, at

To get involved with Innovation Quest as a supporter or mentor or to donate to this program please contact Cory Karpin, director of development, at (805) 756-5171 or