On Monday, 15 MU students will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges in hopes of winning up to $30,000 in startup funding. This “Shark Tank”-style platform is part of MU’s Entrepreneur Quest Pitch Competition.

According to an MU news release, “The EQ program is an opportunity for Mizzou students from any degree program to learn how to translate their innovative ideas into viable business models ready to pitch for startup funding.”

From 3 to 5:30 p.m. in the Leadership Auditorium in the MU Student Center, the judges will select 10 semifinalists to move on in the competition. The panel is made up of business owners and entrepreneurs like Nickie Davis, executive director of The District Downtown Columbia.

These applicants will then participate in an eight-week educational program consisting of “educational workshops and mentoring from alumni, industry leaders, investors and subject-matter experts,” according to the news release.

Following the educational program, the 10 semifinalists will participate in another judged pitch competition in March 2020 which will determine the top three student teams. These top three winners will split the $30,000 startup funding; $15,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place.

Students pitching this year Sharoze Amir, computer science. Chil: A service that matches those in need of help with a chore to those with interest in completing the task.

Zach Cook, MBA student. Vesta: One-stop cold storage container for the e-food and beverage delivery industry.

Trent Esser, business management. Printerior: Custom-made furniture from 3D recycled plastics.

Maxwell Fazekas, electrical engineering graduate student. Max Fix: Economical cellphone repairs.

David Goddard, finance graduate student. Kimberling City Bait and Tackle: Provides guide service, gear and lures.

Matthew Gunn, international business. S’more of That: Custom catered s’more experience.

Daniel Hoffman, executive MBA student. Norah Health: Patient satisfaction platform.

James Hopfenblatt, architectural studies & design with digital media. avanzAR: Evidence-based stroke rehabilitation game platform.

Emily Housey, journalism strategic communication. Housey Designs LLC: Customizable products for Generation Z.

Kaitlyn Barksdale, finance. Kate’s Crochets: Affordable crocheted clothing for women and men.

Ankit Jain, computer science. IMPLS: All-in-one website/app for athletic apparel and equipment.

Hayden McCarter, business management. Scoreboard: eSports bar for gamers.

Drew Patel, computer science. Pollinate: Blockchain login for package deliveries.

Madison Read, graphic design. Doodle Bed: Creates coloring page on white sheets for hospital patients.

Daniel Serres, political science and communications. Fresher Than U: Provides canvases in everyday items for digital graphic artists, beginning with car air freshener.

  • Business reporter, Fall 2019 Reach me at kjaf25@mail.missouri.edu

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