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 $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 now being accepted with finalist selection and presentations taking place in the spring.

Apply For Innovation Quest


2017 Prizes

$15,000:   1st Place Innovation Award
$10,000:   2nd Rich and Jackie Boberg Innovation Award
$5,000:    3rd Place Prize
$1,600     4th Place Prize


2017 Winners

1st Place Innovation Award:
Pashion Footwear - Practical Fashion for the Women-On-The- Go

2nd Place Rich and Jackie Boberg Innovation Award:
Current Solutions -  Personal Security Solution for College-Aged Women 

3rd Place Award:
Brandplug - Pay-Per-Impression Social Media Celebrity-Marketing Platform

4rd Place Award:
Atsa Foods - Foods Company Incorporating Native American Super Foods Into Everyday Snacks

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