Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Innovation Quest (iQ)

Innovation 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 2004 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 $350,000 in support of Cal Poly innovators and entrepreneurs who have used the program as a platform to launch successful businesses.

Applications for Innovation Quest are now being accepted with finalist selection and presentations taking place in the spring. To learn more join us at our upcoming info session on Thursday, March 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m in the Cotchett Education building (No.2), Room 210.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on March 20.

Apply For Innovation Quest


2018 Prizes

$15,000:   1st Place Innovation Award
$10,000:   2nd Rich and Jackie Boberg Innovation Award
$5,000:    3rd Place Prize


2018 Winners

1st Place Innovation Award: Massive Obstetric Hemorrhage Indication (MOHI) Device -The MOHI device can quickly indicate if a patient has lost the ability to clot during hemorrhage after childbirth.

2nd Place Rich and Jackie Boberg Innovation Award: Clove – is an automated smart appliance that allows people who love food and the cooking culture to grow a sustainable supply of fresh herbs and produce in their home.

3rd Place Award: Lost Coast Surf Tech – an emerging surf company that develops premiere equipment. Their first product is a high-performance surfboard fin with activity
tracking technology, allowing surfers to push past their ceilings via the fin design and data.

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

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