Cal Poly San Luis Obispo


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.



1 6 7 8