Cal Poly San Luis Obispo


SLO HotHouse Update | Boost Acquisition

Buying a car is a daunting task, especially when you’re buying used. How many miles? Accidents? Previous owners? The questions pile up and the whole process can easily become overwhelming. Car dealerships, specifically those who sell used cars, often face the same challenges. Finding cars to purchase and sell on their lot means searching through countless online sources to find new sources of inventory.

Boost Acquisition founders Scott Santore and Josh Hirahara wanted to simplify this process, allowing used car dealerships to easily find new avenues for lot inventory. The company developed a software application for car dealerships that enables them to buy used vehicles directly from consumers.

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SLO HotHouse Update | Moja Gear

Millennials love community. They center their lives around movements, ideas, or even hobbies where individuals find identity and purpose in a group setting. Sander DiAngelis founded his company, Moja Gear, on this belief, trusting that a company built around a community would gather a following.

It seems to be working. The company, a product of the SLO HotHouse Accelerator, has established themselves as a prominent and important player in the rock-climbing world. Moja Gear’s Instagram account has over 2700 followers, they’ve tweeted over 3500 times, and their website has become an agora for climbers interested in everything from buying climbing gear and reading tutorials, to catching up on the latest climbing news.

Since their time in the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Accelerator program, the company has partnered with retailer The Mountain Air and secured over $80,000 in funding.

Sander attributes much of the company’s growth to their distinctive social media presence.

“Social media is our primary source of content distribution,” said Sander. “It’s our spot to be quirky, personable, and engaging—a space to connect in a manner that other companies in our space don’t know how to do.”

This unique lens, combining community-based content with retail sales, has allowed the company to consistently grow their audience and envision new communities to engage. Sander eventually plans to expand Moja’s climbing influence into the worlds of yoga, cycling, and snow sports, too.

Additionally, Moja will bring their own brand of products into the climbing world.

“We’re excited to get out there with our core community,” said Sander. “2015 will be a big year for unveiling real Moja Gear—our Moja-branded line of products.”

For Moja, the potential seems limitless. As long as communities need products and gathering places, it looks like Sander and his team will be there to provide them.

To see what Moja is up to, visit them at and consider following them on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

The company is currently raising additional funding. They would like to speak to investors with experience in brand building, product development, and/or publishing and media. For more information, contact

SLO HotHouse Update | InPress Technologies

Postpartum hemorrhaging (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal deaths globally. InPress Technologies, founded by Cal Poly alum Jessie Becker, wants to change that statistic with their product, the InPress device. Clinically, 80% of the instances of PPH are caused by the failure of the uterus to contract after childbirth1. The InPress device addresses this problem by enabling the natural contraction of the uterus and preventing excessive bleeding without dangerous and invasive operations.

Founded in 2011 after participating in Innovation Quest, InPress is continually connecting with the right people. After involvement with the Cal Poly Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) Incubator program, the company went on to secure a spot in the elite biomedical incubator program at the Fogarty Institute for Innovation.

Splitting their time between Mountain View and San Luis Obispo, the InPress team just wrapped up their First in Woman clinical trial, has built a strong patent portfolio, and is currently raising their Series A round of financing.

“We’re feeling pretty well equipped to move forward,” said Becker.

The team is set to meet with the FDA for the first time and will soon apply for a CE Mark to be able to sell their device in the European market.

Despite all the approvals and applications required to move their product to market, InPress is centered around changing women’s lives. Becker and her team hope to see their device all over the world, especially in developing nations with limited access to modern healthcare. They believe this device will change the world, and after hearing them talk about InPress, it’s hard not to agree.

If you would like to learn more about InPress, or if you’re interested in investing in the company, go to

via InPress Technologies

SLO HotHouse Update | Superior Solutions

The pickup truck reigns at Cal Poly. With a strong agricultural presence and endless roads to explore, many students find that no other vehicle suits their hauling and recreational needs. And for many, the pickup serves not only as a people transport but also a business transport— hauling equipment, hay bales, or furniture.

Superior Solutions Manufacturing, an Incubating company at the SLO HotHouse, is maximizing the lift capacity for truck users with their product, the Liftgator. A removable lift gate that attaches to any pickup truck, the Liftgator is capable of lifting up to 1,000 pounds. The result is less stress, both in hired hands and hurting backs, for customers with heavy loads.

Founded by Cal Poly mechanical engineering graduates Justin Russo and Marty Affentranger in 2012, Superior Solutions has already experienced validation for their product, winning Techpitch in October of last year. Techpitch is a competition for startups along the Central Coast, allowing companies to pitch their business ideas to a panel of expert judges and compete for funding.

After winning TechPitch and securing $5,000 to invest in their company, Superior Solutions Manufacturing has been working to build their manufacturing capacity and increase their sales.

“Winning TechPitch was an affirmation that we are moving this company in the right direction,” said Justin Russo, co-founder of Superior Solutions Manufacturing. “We continue to grow along the lines we detailed at Techpitch.”

Over the next year, Russo and his team are looking to move their manufacturing base from Bakersfield to SLO. Two years young, Superior Solutions continues to gain momentum, gathering support and investments from people all over California.

Read more about Russo’s experience at TechPitch here.

You can contact Justin and the Superior Solutions team at

The Cardboard Guys Launch Kickstarter Campaign

To raise money for their first run of manufacturing, SLO HotHouse Incubator The Cardboard Guys are launching a Kickstarter campaign on February 24th, 2015. All backers will be able to pre-order the Kids Imagination Desk & Chair for discounted prices along with perks including a miniature and life-size version of The Cardboard Guys’ mascot, Cardboard Corey.

Participants in both the accelerator and the incubator programs at the SLO HotHouse, The Cardboard Guys was founded by three recent Cal Poly graduates.

To support their Kickstarter campaign, click here.



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