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Cal Poly to Host Demo Day Event on Sept. 8

Contact: Candice Conti
805-756-5171; clconti@calpoly.edu

 

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) hosts its annual Demo Day on Friday, Sept. 8, at the Performing Arts Center on campus.

The event culminates CIE’s 2017 SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program — an intense 13-week program that helps students and recent graduates who have developed new products and ventures. Representatives of the six participating companies will give demonstrations, pitches and answer questions about their entrepreneurial efforts.

“It is truly incredible to watch the accelerator’s progress from start to finish,” said Tod Nelson, CIE executive director. “This unique program pushes them and encourages them to grow fast, and to grow smart. Demo Day is when we get to see how all this hard work is paying off.”

The summer accelerator program provides $10,000 in seed money to each company, hands-on strategic business guidance from Cal Poly faculty and mentors as well as dedicated office space at SLO HotHouse. The entrepreneurs receive training, introductions to investors and unlimited resources to help move their startup forward.

The CIE Accelerators constantly worked and pivoted throughout the program, and the startups are seeing this pay off.

“The SLO HotHouse Accelerator program has exceeded our expectations,” said Haley Pavone, CEO and founder of Pashion Footwear. “The program and resources at the CIE have allowed us to accomplish way more than we would have on our own. What I’ve learned here and the connections I’ve made are priceless.”

This year’s accelerator companies include a variety of industries and disciplines, making it a unique cohort. They include:

— Atsá Foods LLC is an innovative food company that integrates Native American superfoods into everyday nutritious snacks while positively impacting Native American communities where key ingredients are sourced. www.atsafoods.com
— DTE Materials manufactures hemp-based, high-performance, non-toxic and sustainable building insulation material. www.dtematerials.com

— LocalsOwn is a virtual farmstand offering local farmers’ market products online. It provides consumers with a way to see what the best local farms and food artisans have to offer with just a few clicks of the mouse.

— Pashion Footwear has designed an adaptable shoe that can easily convert from a pump into a flat that is an innovative and pain-free approach to women’s footwear. www.pashionfootwear.com

— PolyRents simplifies the housing rental process for landlords and their prospective tenants. www.polyrents.com

— The Lens is a global media brand that captures a familiar world through authentic perspectives. “We connect you to human stories on global affairs, race, and culture and empower you to take action on the issues you care about most,” the company says. www.yellowglassmedia.com

Demo Day is sponsored by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Professional Corporation. The Sept. 8 event is free and open to the public; advance registration is required. For more information and to register, go to 2017demoday.eventbrite.com.

 

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunity to Cal Poly students, faculty and community members, and promotes entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County. For more information, go tohttp://cie.calpoly.edu/.

About the SLO HotHouse
The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly, the city and county of San Luis Obispo, the business community and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The goal of the SLO HotHouse is to support students and community members as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures. For more information, visit http://cie.calpoly.edu/slo-hothouse.

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Three New Incubators Join The SLO HotHouse

Contact: Candice Conti
805-756-5171; clconti@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly Adds Three New Community Startups to SLO HotHouse Incubator Program

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) today announced three new startups that have been selected to join the growing cohort of SLO HotHouse Incubator companies.

The incubator program, which started in 2012 to help startup companies get off the ground and become financially stable and high-growth enterprises, had previously only accepted applications from Cal Poly students and recent graduates.

“Now that we are accepting community startups into the program, the list of success stories continues to grow at CIE with 12 startups currently incubating and three new ones joining,” said Judy Mahan, CIE Incubator and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) director. “Entrepreneurs are the engine of economic growth all over the world, and at CIE there is nothing we care about more than supporting them.”

The new startups accepted in CIE SLO HotHouse Incubator program include:

— Motoroso is a website that helps automotive and powersports enthusiasts plan, build and share their dream vehicle projects. Conceived by founder and CEO Alex Littlewood. www.motoroso.com

— Savvy Leadership Academy empowering today’s youth with the tools they’ll need to become tomorrow’s leaders. Maggie von Stein is the founder and CEO. www.savvyleaders.com

— Stollmeyer Technologies delivers unmanned automated vehicle (UAV) solutions for professionals; enabling them to perform mission critical tasks reliably. Created by Marc Stollmeyer, founder and CEO, James Thrasher, chief technology officer, and Joseph Coplon, electrical engineer. www.stoll-tech.com

Startups participating in the SLO Hothouse Incubator programs benefit from mentorship, monthly peer-to-peer roundtable discussions, an advisory board for each startup in the program, participation in Pitch Night, networking opportunities, and exclusive access to various entrepreneurial events in the community. Businesses will also be able to utilize all CIE SLO HotHouse resources, including office space, conference rooms and an invaluable peer network.

Participants are excited by the opportunity.

“Leveraging the incredible resources and amazing mentors at CIE and the SLO HotHouse will ensure Savvy Leadership Academy is strongly rooted in San Luis Obispo with the potential to offer our programs around the world,” said van Stein. “SLO roots with a global reach.”

Community startups interested in applying for the CIE SLO HotHouse Incubator program should go to http://cie.calpoly.edu/launch/hothouse-incubator.

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunity to Cal Poly students, faculty and community members, and promotes entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County. For more information, go to http://cie.calpoly.edu/.

About the SLO HotHouse
The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly, the city and county of San Luis Obispo, the business community and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The goal of the SLO HotHouse is to support students and community members as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures. For more information, visit http://cie.calpoly.edu/slo-hothouse.

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Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Opens Incubator to Local Startups

SAN LUIS OBISPO — For the first time, the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will accept community startups into its SLO HotHouse Incubator program. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 22.

Startups applying for the program must submit a business plan and answers to a series of questions that a committee will review. The committee will look for companies with technology innovation, scalability, and high growth potential. Up to four ventures will be accepted into the intense 24-month Incubator starting Jan. 11, 2016.

“Thanks to the community’s support, we are able to accept local startups into our program,” said Judy Mahan, director of the CIE Incubator and Small Business Development Center (SBDC). “Our Incubator Program includes everything needed for early-stage companies to develop into financially stable, high-growth enterprises by providing the tools, training, and infrastructure that helps facilitate smarter, faster growth.”

Programming for the SLO HotHouse Incubator includes mentorship, monthly peer-to-peer roundtable discussions, an advisory board for each startup in the program, participation in Pitch Night, networking opportunities, and exclusive access to various entrepreneurial events in the community. Businesses will also be able to utilize all of the CIE SLO HotHouse resources, such as office space, conference rooms, and an invaluable peer network.

“This program provides emerging enterprises with a strategic path; a wide array of vital business development services and resources; and ongoing guidance, motivation, and support to help new ventures succeed,” said CIE Executive Director Tod Nelson.

“Growing in an incubator increases a business’s chance of success and potential for long-term economic impact,” said Jeff Buckingham, SLO HotHouse Community Advisory Board member. “Entrepreneurs thrive when they live in a supportive environment, and when entrepreneurs thrive, so does the local economy.”

Community startups interested in applying for the CIE SLO HotHouse Incubator program should go to www.slohothouse.com.

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
The Cal Poly Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship manages and supports a wide variety of programs and activities to stimulate the entrepreneurial Learn by Doing spirit at Cal Poly and to assist entrepreneurs in following their dreams. For more information, go to www.cie.calpoly.edu.

About the SLO HotHouse
The SLO HotHouse is a community space that has been created through the efforts of Cal Poly, the San Luis Obispo community, and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The goal of the SLO HotHouse is to support students and community members as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures.

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Cal Poly Adds Seven Startups to SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator Program

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has accepted seven startup companies into this year’s SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program.

The intense 13-week program is designed for students and recent graduates who have developed new ventures and want help making them succeed.

The program provides $10,000 in seed money, hands-on strategic business guidance from faculty and mentors, and dedicated office space during the summer at the SLO HotHouse. Companies receive training, introductions to investors and resources to help move their ventures forward. At the culmination of the program, they will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors during Demo Day.

The ventures represent a variety of concepts, including health foods, innovative footwear, sustainable building materials and smart solutions for San Luis Obispo house renters.

“Our accelerators are tackling the startup world head on,” said Lori Jordan, director of student innovation programs, who oversees the program. “We are giving them the tools they need to grow their company, and we are excited to see where their venture takes them and how they make an impact locally, nationally and throughout the world.”

Applicants representing disciplines from across campus competed for a place in the seventh annual accelerator program. Thirteen finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges who chose the final seven companies.

“This program encourages risk takers, innovators and dreamers to pursue their passion,” said the CIE Executive Director Tod Nelson. “The accelerators are encouraged to think without limits. Through creativity, guidance, ambition and grit, these startups will grow to become pillars of the economy and supporters of our community.”

This year’s accelerator companies are:

-- Atsá Foods LLC is an innovative food company that is turning Native American superfoods into everyday nutritious snacks and returning value to the Navajo Nation Reservation. It was conceived by Rafael Pintor, agricultural business; Peter Haverkamp, food science; Neal Gorris, industrial technology and packaging; and Sam Baber, art and design. https://www.atsafoods.com/

-- Bluezone uses augmented reality, gamification and big data to inspire discovery and connection between users. It was developed by Brett Foreman, and Jimmy Kang, business administration.

-- DTE Materials manufactures hemp-based, high-performance, non-toxic and sustainable building insulation material. Created by Tanner Jolly, materials engineering, and Jose Urizar, civil engineering.

-- LocalzOwn is building a platform that its founders say is the smartest and easiest way to source and sell local artisan food products. It was started by Joseph Lyman, biomedical engineering; Michael Fekadu, computer engineering; and Leonel S. Farias, agricultural education.

-- Pashion Footwear has designed an adaptable shoe that can easily convert from a pump into a flat that is an innovative and pain-free approach to women’s footwear. It was designed by Haley Pavone, business administration, and Tyler Unbehand, industrial technology and packaging. https://pashionfootwear.com/

-- PolyRents has created technology that simplifies the housing rental process for landlords and their prospective tenants. It was created by Cameron Wiese, psychology, and Alexander Kavanaugh, software engineering. http://www.polyrents.com/

-- Yellow Glass Media creates and curates socially relevant and unbiased media content to inspire viewers to listen, learn and empathize. It was conceived by Nesrine Majzoub, sociology, and Daniel Hornett, civil engineering. http://www.yellowglassmedia.com/

 

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunity to Cal Poly students, faculty and community members, and promotes entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County. For more information, go to http://cie.calpoly.edu/.

About the SLO HotHouse

The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly, the city and county of San Luis Obispo, the business community and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The goal of the SLO HotHouse is to support students and community members as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures. For more information, visit http://cie.calpoly.edu/slo-hothouse.

Front row (from left): Rafael Pintor, Sam Baber, Peter Haverkamp , Michael Fekadu, Haley Pavone, Tyler Unbehand and Nesrine Majzoub. Back row (from left): Neal Gorris, Jimmy Kang, Brett Foreman, Leonel Farias, Joseph Lyman, Cameron Wiese, Alexander Kavanaugh and Jose Urizar. Not pictured: Tanner Jolly and Daniel Hornett.

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2017 Innovation Quest Finalists

The Innovation Quest finalists have been announced. Check out the following list and find out who will be competing for the $15,000 grand prize this spring:

Alfa Grey Technologies: researches and develops technologies which protect the first-responders and servicemen and women who keep our families safe.

Archer Components: develops bicycle add-ons that transform any cable-driven shifting mechanism into a high precision, cable-free, Bluetooth operated, shifting system.

Atsá Foods LLC: an innovative foods company that incorporates Native American superfoods into everyday snacks.

Brandplug: allows marketers to lower their social media celebrity marketing costs by more than 50% by using our novel pay-per-impression social media celebrity marketing platform.

Current Solutions: the first comprehensive personal security solution for college-aged women who feel unsafe walking alone at night and parents who are worried for their children’s safety that integrates all four layers of security: deter, defend, respond, and record; It does this by automatically dispatching police to a user’s exact GPS location, notifying loved ones of the user’s situation, alerting the nearby Current community, and recording audio and video.

DTE Materials: manufactures high performing hemp building insulation sustainably from plant to home.

Fitmi: a smart mirror that provides a quick, holistic review of health and progress.

Grow Nodes: a wifi connected automated cannabis growing system that makes growing easy for anyone by constantly monitoring and adjusting the plants environment and notifying the user through the mobile app whenever the plant needs tending.

Pashion Footwear: an innovative fashion startup working to create a “practical and fashionable” approach to the classic stiletto heel -- an adaptable shoe that can fully convert from a pump into a sandal.

PCkit: helps people build their own powerful, affordable gaming computers optimized to the specific video games they want to play.

PolyRents: simplifies the housing rental process for landlords, property managers, and tenants.

SharedElements: a platform that vertically integrates solutions for entrepreneurship.

SpotDrop: creates an adaptable smart irrigation system for vineyard managers who want to save water and increases the quality and yield of their crop by enabling vine-by-vine control and eliminating irrigation inefficiencies.

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