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 innovations that 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 $400,000 in support of Cal Poly innovators and entrepreneurs who have used the program as a platform to launch successful businesses.

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.

Applications for iQ 2024 are due Friday, March 15, 2024 by 11:59 p.m.

Questions? Come to our info sessions below:

Info session #1: Tuesday, Dec. 5 | 6:10-7 p.m. | Nash Family Entrepreneurship Lab (02, 210)
Info session #2: Tuesday, Jan. 23 | 6:10-7 p.m. | Nash Family Entrepreneurship Lab (02, 210) in partnership with Cal Poly Entrepreneurs 
Info session #3: Thursday, Feb. 22 | 11:10-12 p.m. | The Hatchery (02, 206)

iQ FAQ Past Winners Click here to apply!

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 please contact Thomas Katona at