Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Menu

Blog

Why You Need to Try Coworking at the SLO HotHouse

Have you ever heard of the phrase two minds are better than one? This phrase definitely holds its truth when it comes to coworking.

Coworking is about being independently productive around people who share similar values and goals. It’s about learning from and connecting with one another to achieve success. Research has shown that coworking spaces lead to a culture that drives innovation and furthers success of entrepreneurs and business professionals. So, whether you are interested in the synergy of like-minded people or just want a place to work with fast Wi-Fi and your own space, coworking may be a great option for you.

The SLO HotHouse is a community hub with more than 50 individuals and over two-dozen companies working out of the space. Members include professionals in real estate, marketing, law, photography, and development. With affordable 24/7 workspace, no leases, all the office amenities you could ask for and a location in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo, the SLO HotHouse is the perfect place to work toward accomplishing your goals.

“Before the SLO HotHouse I was running my business out of my home or in coffee shops,”said Luke Fox, CEO of WhiteFox Defense Technologies, Inc. and a SLO HotHouse coworker. “Being at home meant constant distractions. Coffee shops were costing me about $100 a month and were loud with limited hours. My business has really taken off since being at the HotHouse. The environment and culture they cultivate is an experience to behold!”

Take your company to the next level and come see for yourself why coworking at the SLO HotHouse would be a great choice for you! Book a tour today or click here for more information.

How to Get Involved in Forums

At once both a foundational and an educational pillar of CIE, the forum series unifies a community and a university around the pursuit of entrepreneurship. Hosted on a bi-monthly basis, CIE Forums explore innovative ideas and up-and-coming startups within an interactive and collaborative environment.

At times, the forum series serves as a host for the Elevator Pitch Competition finals or the introduction of the SLO HotHouse Accelerator companies. At other events, the forum is home to game-show style competitions and club showcases. Regardless of the content, though, CIE Forums provide attendees with a unique perspective into the startup scene on the Central Coast.

Each forum is divided into two sections: the P.E.N. (Pitches, Exhibits, Networking) and the panel.

During the P.E.N., attendees are introduced to the latest innovations on the Central Coast. Through networking, brainstorming or even competing, community members, faculty, and students can discover new connections and new ideas.

Following the P.EN., each forum transitions to the forum panel. Showcasing experts from the startup world, the panel centers its discussion around core issues crucial for success in entrepreneurship. Attendees are also able to submit questions for the panel to discuss, allowing the collaborative environment of the P.E.N. to continue throughout the evening.

From 4:30p.m.-7:30 p.m., the forum series enables freshman students to connect with venture capitalists and local business owners to brainstorm with Cal Poly faculty. While SLO may never possess the resources of Silicon Valley, the forum series offers a vision of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that fosters community alongside innovation.

To register for our free February forum, click here! 

CIE Welcomes Four Professors to the Faculty Fellows program

Four professors were named to the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship‘s (CIE) Faculty Fellows program. Lynne Slivovsky, electrical engineering, David Askay, communication studies, Taryn Stanko, management, and Graham Doig, aerospace, join the multidisciplinary cohort in preparing students to become emerging entrepreneurial leaders. The fellows will help to raise awareness of CIE programs and provide guidance to students and faculty with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Communication Studies Professor, Askay, applied to the CIE Faculty Fellows program because it provides him with the support to create a program that can harness local expertise to better address global problems.   Askay wanted to be part of something that allowed faculty, staff and students to collaborate and have the opportunity to make a difference.  He will create an OpenIDEO chapter on campus, with the goal of fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation focused on societal and environmental challenges.

Aerospace Professor, Dr. Doig, started the Prototype Vehicles Lab (PROVE Lab) to be a project-based organization where students can design and build unique, technology-demonstrator vehicles to break world records.  The fellows program allows him to take these plans for PROVE to the next level and help the students really go to town on their innovative ideas with the right support and mentoring.  Dr. Doig sees the Faculty Fellows program as a great investment of time and effort.

“These blazing-bright minds are going to go out there and do stuff we haven’t even thought of yet, a group of battle-hardened world-changers,” said Doig. “ Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

Cal Poly entrepreneurs’ energy, enthusiasm and passion made Professor Taryn Stanko interested in the CIE Faculty Fellows program.

“These students left a deep impression on me and made her excited about the entrepreneurial efforts going on at the SLO HotHouse.”, Stanko said.

Professor Stanko is currently developing a new course, “Negotiation for Entrepreneurs”, which will focus almost exclusively on the unique issues facing founders of young companies.  She believes that negotiation is a critical tool for entrepreneurs who must negotiate with stakeholders on issues that are fundamental to the success of their new companies.

Electrical Engineering Professor, Lynne Slivovsky, is focusing her project on human-centered innovation and design. She is interested in computer vision and pattern recognition, human computer interaction, haptics, robotics and digital system design.  Slivovsky will help in inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

These four fellows are part of the 2016-2017 class of CIE Faculty Fellows.  They are joining fellows Enrica Costello, art and design; Bob Crockett, biomedical engineering; Dale Dolan, Electrical Engineering; Lorraine Donegan, graphic communication; Charmaine Farber, graphic communication; Mary Glick, journalism; Brian Granger, physics; David Janzen, computer science; Lynn Metcalf, marketing; Clare Olsen, architecture; Christiane Schroeter, agricultural business; and Umut Toker, architecture.

Where Are They Now: Favor

Ben & Zac photos for Fortune

Photo courtesy of Favor

 

Favor co-founders Ben Doherty and Zac Maurais graduated from the CIE SLO HotHouse in August of 2012. Their app-based service allows customers to get anything they want delivered to their door in under an hour.

“The SLO Hothouse taught us important entrepreneurial lessons and supported us immensely in the early days,” said Maurais. “We’re very grateful for the community they’ve created.”

Whether it’s a tasty dinner from a top restaurant or essentials from the convenience store, Favor’s network of personal assistants can deliver whatever you need in just a couple taps.

Currently, Favor is available in 20 cities across the country, and the company has raised over $30M in funding to fuel their explosive growth. Based in Austin, TX, Favor boasts nearly 200 employees.

“We created a fun and flexible way for people to earn extra money,” said Doherty. “With over 16,000 runners on our platform, it’s rewarding to see how many awesome people are using what we’ve built.”

For more info on Favor, click here.

Where Are They Now: InPress Technologies

inpress-blog

Hello everyone!

This last weekend, I was lucky enough to go exploring in a new startup community in Durango, Colorado. I was invited to speak at a handful of events that brought pre-existing business owners, community movers-and-shakers, and university students and faculty together for the first time.

And wow -- what excitement and energy!

Witnessing the seeding of a new entrepreneurial ecosystem renewed my gratitude for our own wonderful startup community & InPress’ growth within it. Reflecting on our progress since the summer of 2011 until today, much of what we’ve accomplished has been aided, encouraged and improved by the support of San Luis Obispo entrepreneurial community.

We started as a rag-tag group of not-yet-graduated students with an impossible dream of saving women’s lives around the world. Today, we have and are hiring the best talent available – all of whom are motivated by that same mission.

We started with a few dollars here and there for small expenditures, and not nearly enough to move full steam ahead. Today, we’ve raised three rounds of funding – the last of which set a value for our company and brought in an incredible and experienced cadre of investors that truly double as advisors and advocates.

We started with a sketch of a concept for a new technology and next to no proof that it would work. Today, our company is ISO certified, and manufactures a validated device that has quickly and successfully stopped postpartum hemorrhage for 10 women.

We have come so far, and yet, we have a long way to go.

It is our mission to ensure that this technology is available to every woman that needs it. This company, this team, and this technology would not exist today without the early and constant support of the SLO entrepreneurial community. In the years to come, I expect to say much the same.

Thank you all for contributing to the vibrant and wonderfully supportive SLO startup community. You can bet that we’ll be around – supporting all you as best we can & asking for help when we need it.

See ya around, SLO-ites!

Jessie, Nathan and the whole InPress team.

1 2 3 4 8