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Get Involved With CIE: EPC

We call it the Elevator Effect™ because the Elevator Pitch Competition often takes curious students and transforms them into full-time innovators.

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SLO HotHouse Update | Upward Automation

As the “smart home” movement gains momentum in the modern marketplace, many have been disappointed to discover the tedious and often elaborate work required to create a “smart home.” Extensive programming and the challenge of interconnectivity scare the average consumer away, leaving the smartest homes to the smartest programmers.

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SLO HotHouse Update | Bottlefly

Even for experienced connoisseurs, the process of identifying and purchasing a bottle of wine produces numerous challenges. Unless you happen to know a sommelier, the delicacies of a certain wine may easily elude the average consumer.

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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 mojagear.com 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 sander@mojagear.com.

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