IQ E-Pitch Competition


Have you ever thought about a new, innovative idea for a product, service or social enterprise? Do you believe it could be the basis for a successful new startup or nonprofit? Then the Innovation Quest Elevator Pitch (IQ-E Pitch) Competition may be the perfect opportunity for you.

Inventors and entrepreneurs of all kinds commonly have to request support from investors to raise capital in order to commercialize their ideas and launch startup ventures.


The IQ E-Pitch competition simulates this experience so students gain real-world experience of what it would like to bring a business or nonprofit idea to fruition. And pitching your ideas is a lifelong skill.

Every year, student teams will compete for over $10,000 in awards. Past winners have gone on participate in local and national accelerator programs, receive mentorship, funding and launch successful businesses.  

How the IQ E-Pitch Competition Works

This competition is open to all enrolled UC students who have come up with a new idea that has not been developed earlier than January 2021. Students can submit an idea in one of four tracks:

  1. Freshman
  2. Undergraduate
  3. Graduate
  4. Social enterprise or nonprofit

Students start by filling out an initial application form. From there, they will receive information and instructions for submitting their work for review by external judges.

Nearly 70 judges from the regional startup and business community review and provide feedback on submissions. Students benefit from this feedback from the entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, retired executives and more who draw from a wealth of experience. Winning teams are announced at an annual ceremony.

Past Competitions

The 2021 and 2020 IQ E-Pitch Competitions were conducted in a virtual environment due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Amid this pivot to virtual, the competition continued to attract dozens of student teams from all UC colleges. View past winners at the links below.