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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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Cal Poly Hosts Entrepreneurship Forum Focused on Customer Experience

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host a panel of entrepreneurs at the “Customer Craze: Make Them Obsessed With Your Company” forum on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center.

The theme of the entrepreneurship forum, which is free and open to the public, is the customer experience counts even more than price, product or promotions. The forum will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The evening’s panel discussion will focus on customer experience, relationship management and growing a customer base. Panelists include Jodi Andrews, CEO/co-founder of ProTrials Research Inc., a San Jose-based leader in clinical research; Darrell Rodriguez, CEO of castAR, a Palo Alto-based technology startup developing augmented reality and virtual reality glasses; Michael Jones, founder of Azhiaziam International, a Morro Bay-based surf apparel brand and shop; and Steve Beck, venture partner for Champaign, Il.-based Serra Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in technology companies. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask them questions.

“The forum series brings together community members and up-and-coming entrepreneurs,” said Tod Nelson, CIE executive director. “It creates an opportunity for people to connect with others in the entrepreneurship world and learn invaluable insider tips.”

The event kicks off with the P.E.N. (Pitches, Exhibits, Networking), from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m., where attendees will participate in a “Business Slogan Bingo” game where they match slogans with company names for the chance to win prizes.

Community members interested in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation at Cal Poly can become Pioneer Pass Holders with a pledge of $100. The annual pass gives a member expedited registration and access to special industry events.

Advance registration is required. For more details and to register, visit https://febforum17.eventbrite.com.

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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

About the SLO HotHouse

The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly and 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 create new innovations and start business ventures. For more information, visit http://cie.calpoly.edu/slo-hothouse.

New SLO HotHouse Offers Community Coworking Space in Downtown San Luis Obispo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2017

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

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), which is providing workplace solutions for freelancers, startups and entrepreneurs, has space for new members at its new SLO HotHouse location in the heart of downtown.

Business professionals looking for a welcoming coworking space to set up shop with other business-minded members, a place to launch the next big idea or American dream, or a convenient place to meet with clients, now have affordable solutions.

The CIE SLO HotHouse offers its members a comfortable work environment with fast Internet, 24/7 access, educational and social events plus business consulting at an all-inclusive price. Members also have access to meeting rooms, high-quality printers and a full kitchen with premium coffee.

With more than 15,000-square-feet of space, the SLO HotHouse offers flexible short- and long-term memberships, an open area for coworking as well as a private phone booth, a lounge, three conference rooms, private offices, dedicated desk spaces and event space.

“As hotel brokers, the HotHouse has provided us with an energetic and progressive environment for building our business,” said Aaron Graves, principal of California Hotel Brokers and a SLO HotHouse coworker. “We are able to collaborate with other companies involved in technology, tourism and sustainability all under one roof. The input from other cutting-edge entrepreneurs helps to challenge us, and forces California Hotel Brokers to become the best in the industry.”

The SLO HotHouse is a community hub with more than 50 individuals and over two-dozen companies working out of the space. Members include experts in real estate, marketing, law, photography, and development.

“The SLO HotHouse was created for the community,” said Tod Nelson, CIE executive director. “San Luis Obispo is full of talented entrepreneurs and visionaries and the SLO HotHouse provides a collaborative environments. Our coworking space is a melting pot of creativity that generates a level of synergy that results from the proximity and collaboration of like-minded people. New relationships are developed. Ideas are challenged. Problems are solved.”

The SLO HotHouse is at 872 Higuera St. in downtown San Luis Obispo. For more information, go to http://cie.calpoly.edu/slo-hothouse.

 

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 by promoting entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County. For more information, go to cie.calpoly.edu.

About the SLO HotHouse
The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly and 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 create new innovations and start business ventures.

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Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Celebrate New SLO HotHouse Location Nov. 15

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2016

Contact: Candice Conti

805-756-5171; clconti@calpoly.edu

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will host a grand opening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, to celebrate its new 15,000-square-foot SLO HotHouse location in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo.

The SLO HotHouse is a collaborative effort with the county, city and local business community aimed at supporting innovators and entrepreneurs to build a unique startup culture in San Luis Obispo County.

“The grand opening of the SLO HotHouse is a major investment in the future of San Luis Obispo that will benefit our community for generations,” said CIE Executive Director Tod Nelson. “Working with our partners in the county, city, and the business community, the possibilities are limitless. Increasing economic development opportunities will have a ripple effect across our region.”

Attendees to the grand opening celebration will tour the biggest tech startup community in San Luis Obispo and have the opportunity to speak to the innovative individuals in the SLO HotHouse Incubator, a two-year program for Cal Poly students and recent graduates devoted to transforming their businesses from startup to sustainable.

Entrepreneurs can also learn about all the CIE programs and resources available to them at SLO HotHouse. They include the new business incubator — now open to community startups, expanded co-working services, and the Small Business Development Center, which helps startups and established companies launch businesses, attract capital investment, and create jobs.

“The partnership the county has made with the SLO HotHouse is even more important now, in the light of the announced closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant,” said County Supervisor Adam Hill. “Everyone we speak to is very pleased to know we are working together to help young companies.”

Heritage Oaks Bank is sponsoring the event. The public is invited to the SLO HotHouse Grand Opening at 872 Higuera St., directly above the Ross Dress for Less store. Advance registration is required. To register, go to https://slohothousegrandopening.eventbrite.com.

For more information on the SLO HotHouse programs and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, visit cie.calpoly.edu.

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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 by promoting entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County. For more information, go to cie.calpoly.edu.

About the SLO HotHouse

The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly and 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 create new innovations and start business ventures.

 

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Cal Poly Announces Companies Selected for SLO HotHouse Program

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has accepted eight startup companies into this year’s SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program, an intense 13-week program designed for students and recent graduates who have developed new ventures and want help making them succeed.

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Cal Poly’s Innovation Quest Competition Awards $30,000 to Student Startups

SAN LUIS OBISPO — An interdisciplinary team of four Cal Poly students earned the $15,000 first-place prize in Cal Poly’s 13th annual Innovation Quest (iQ) Competition for their startup Mantis Composites, a company that is developing carbon fiber 3-D printing technology to provide full service design-to-manufacturing of high performance materials for automotive, aerospace and biomedical applications.

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Cal Poly Summer Camp Teaches Kids Fundamental Building Blocks of Business

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and Extended Education are accepting applications for Launch It!, a five-day summer entrepreneurship camp for kids in grades five through eight.

Students in the Launch It! program will be introduced to the concept of innovation and entrepreneurship in a fun and engaging way. Through hands-on, team-based activities, students will learn about the process of customer development, marketing and basic finance. They will learn how to identify and solve problems, build a prototype, and pitch a product.

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2016 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 in the spring:

Brandplug: Software that allows marketers to pay social media celebrities for promotion in content on their social media accounts based on the amount of impressions or engagements their promotional content generates.

Bubble: A mobile app that aims to provide quick, once a day exercises to help users increase real interactions with family, friends, and strangers as well as develop a healthier state of mind.

Current: To prevent sexual assault on college campuses, Current has developed a phone case with a built-in stun gun that automatically calls the police, texts a user’s emergency contacts, and activates the phone’s video camera to identify suspects afterward.

DroneFox: Employing a hierarchy of countermeasures, DroneFox detects, identifies, and intercepts unauthorized drones.

Hemp-Shiv Nanoparticle Composite Insulating Material: We are creating a hemp-shiv nanoparticle insulating material that is both carbon-negative and carbon sequestering, that can replace current insulation in commercial and residential projects.

Mantis Composites: Provides a full service design-to-testing platform that allows our customers to create a new era of high performance machines and devices with stronger, lighter, and more intricate composite parts than current technologies allow.

ObserVR: A virtual reality application that allows a user to stream multiple 2D videos in a 3D environment, creating an immersive experience by allowing them to self-producing gameplay and increasing their interaction with what they’re watching.

Pivot: We are helping independent sustainable waste management firms lower fuel costs and increase operational efficiency with a smart network of dumpster volume sensors paired with GIS-powered route optimization software.

Quench: The only company that keeps customers fully hydrated without adding any contaminants to your water, we track hydration with our smartphone app and a revolutionary water displacement disc that measures the amount of water leaving your bottle

Saffron: A mobile app regional marketplace that allows experienced and qualified chefs to connect and sell their specialty, homemade creations with foodies looking for the most delicious and exciting food trends.

Smart Irrigation: We are revolutionizing wine-grape growing by reducing water consumption and simultaneously improving crop quality by providing growers with a smart network of soil moisture probes and precision valves all in pursuit of making the best bottle of wine.

U-Farm: The U-Farm is a fully-automated and sustainable vertical farm for urban environments.

Three Startup Companies Complete Incubator Program at Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

 

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

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Three new companies recently graduated from the SLO HotHouse Incubator, a Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) program devoted to taking businesses from startup to sustainable.

“CIE provides a structured, two-year program for startups to receive individual coaching from subject-matter expert mentors, including assistance with product development and business management,” said Judy Mahan, CIE incubator director. “CIE has worked closely with these startups to move them through the commercialization process and successfully launch.”

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SESLOC joins Founders Circle of Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

SAN LUIS OBISPO —SESLOC Federal Credit Union has teamed up with future business leaders as the first corporate sponsor for Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). Cal Poly’s CIE is a Learn by Doing experience where students get the tools to develop the skills and cultivate the mindset of an entrepreneur. SESLOC joins the Corporate Founders Circle Sponsorship level with a $25,000 contribution to the center.

“SESLOC has been part of this community since 1942, committed to our educational roots, and this opportunity is in great synergy with our Cal Poly legacy,” said SESLOC President and CEO, Geri LaChance. “We are honored to partner with a program that fosters support for bright, energetic learners.”

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