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Cal Poly CIE Welcomes Three Professors to the Faculty Fellows Program

The new 2018-19 CIE Faculty Fellows, from left to right, are Bo Liu, Michael Whitt and Erik Sapper.

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has named three professors to its multidisciplinary cohort of Faculty Fellows, a program that is helping build the entrepreneurship culture at Cal Poly.

Three of Cal Poly’s six colleges are represented in this new group of fellows: Bo Liu of the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Erik Sapper of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in the College of Science and Mathematics; and Michael Whitt of the Biomedical Engineering Department in the College of Engineering.

These new CIE Faculty Fellows become part of an interdisciplinary community that is committed to inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. They join a contingent of 18 other Faculty Fellows all working to raise awareness for the center’s programs and provide guidance to students and faculty with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“This year’s cohort of Faculty Fellows is particularly exciting, because it reaches across three colleges at Cal Poly and continues the deep interdisciplinary focus of the program,” said Jonathan York, CIE co-founder and academic director. “Each year, the Faculty Fellows program grows stronger and creates even more opportunities for students across the campus to build skills in innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Liu believes CIE programs embody Cal Poly Learn by Doing philosophy, and he hopes to provide an opportunity for ideas that sprout in university classrooms to be nurtured and converted into action. Likewise, Whitt said he will focus on helping students transform problems into solutions that also have commercial potential. Sapper is integrating entrepreneurial thinking into the courses he teaches and will focus on empowering undergraduates and master’s degree chemists to create innovative companies.

“I am very excited to be joining the CIE as a Faculty Fellow,” said Sapper, an assistant professor of Western Coasting Technology Center who obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal Poly in 2007. “Apart from the great opportunity to meet and engage with entrepreneurial students and faculty colleagues across campus, this program also provides me with resources needed to champion entrepreneurship within the College of Science and Mathematics, where those sorts of career paths are generally overshadowed by more traditional graduate school or industrial options.”

The CIE Faculty Fellows program began in 2012. The 2018-19 fellows join: David Askay, communication studies; Philip Barlow, construction management; Enrica Costello, art and design; Bob Crockett, biomedical engineering; Ahmed Deif, industrial technology and packaging; Graham Doig, aerospace engineering; Dale Dolan, electrical engineering; Lorraine Donegan and Charmaine Farber, both graphic communication; Mary Glick, journalism; Brian Granger, physics; David Janzen, computer science; Lynn Metcalf, entrepreneurship; Stern Neill, marketing; Clare Olsen, architecture; Christiane Schroeter, agribusiness; Lynne Slivovsky, computer engineering; Taryn Stanko, management and human resources; and Umut Toker, architecture.

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. For more information, go to cie.calpoly.edu.

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Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Host Elevator Pitch Competition Forum on Nov. 7 at the Performing Arts Center

The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host the ninth annual Elevator Pitch Competition Forum, a fast-paced contest for Cal Poly and Cuesta College entrepreneurs, on Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Performing Arts Center on the Cal Poly campus.

The forum — free, open to the public — will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Students will have 90 seconds each to pitch their cutting-edge innovations and business ideas. Judges will select two winners; one from Cal Poly and another from Cuesta. Each winner will receive $1,000. The audience will pick an overall “audience choice” winner that will receive $500.

AJ Forsythe, the co-founder and CEO of iCracked, is the keynote speaker. He won the first annual Elevator Pitch Competition in 2010 with a proposal for an on-demand smartphone repair network. What was once a Cal Poly student-founded startup with Forsythe as its first iTech has evolved into a multimillion-dollar company with more than 70 employees. In the past eight years, iCracked has attracted some 5,000 iTechs who have performed nearly 774,000 repairs across the nation. Forsythe will discuss iCracked’s transition from startup to success.

The Elevator Pitch Competition forum is sponsored by Cuesta College, Wells Fargo, SESLOC Federal Credit Union, the law firm of Carmel and Naccasha, and Relentless Management Group. Advance registration for the competition is required. For more information about the event and to register, visit https://epc18.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. For more information, go to cie.calpoly.edu.

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Contact: Candice Conti

805-756-5171; clconti@calpoly.edu

 

 

Cal Poly to Host Demo Day Event on Sept. 14

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will host its annual Demo Day on Friday, Sept. 14, at the Fremont Theater in downtown San Luis Obispo.

The event culminates CIE’s 2018 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 eight participating companies will give demonstrations and pitches and answer questions about their entrepreneurial efforts.

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 the HotHouse. The entrepreneurs receive training, introductions to investors, and 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.

“Being in the HotHouse Accelerator program this year has allowed our team to cultivate our company culture,” said Shaun Wixted, co-founder of Lost Coast Surf Tech. “We have learned who we are as a company and what we represent while building our technology.”

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

— NeoCharge creates solutions that improve the ease of use and ownership experience for electric vehicle owners. Its first product, the NeoCharge One, is a simple and affordable way for EV owners to get access to fast charging at home.

— BooBees is a women-empowering surf company that provides sustainable products such as a beeswax-based surf wax to replace petroleum products. www.surfboobees.com

— Clove is an automated smart appliance that allows people who love food and cooking culture to grow a sustainable supply of fresh herbs and produce in their home. www.growclove.com

— Fauna Farms helps mitigate the environmental crisis through agriculture by providing farmers with a marketplace to consistently sell responsibly raised animals, and consumers with a reliable way to eat meat responsibly. www.faunafarms.com

— De Oro Devices is creating innovative technology to improve the quality of life for people afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. Their device utilizes audio and visual cues that are clinically proven to help individuals with Parkinson’s overcome freezing of gait, one of the most common and debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. www.deorodevices.com

— Lost Coast is an emerging surf company that develops premiere equipment. Their first product will be a high-performance surfboard fin with activity tracking technology, allowing surfers to push past their ceilings via the fin design and data. www.lostcoastsurf.tech

— Roopairs is an equipment management platform that enables restaurant owners and managers to track repairs and maintenance history, while also providing a simple process for hiring service providers when equipment breaks down. www.roopairs.com

— Sex.E provides sexual health and gender-based violence education through live sketch comedy shows and online content. www.sexe-education.com

Demo Day is sponsored by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Professional Corporation.  The Sept. 14 event is free and open to the public; advance registration is required. For more information and to register, go to 2018demoday.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. 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 the students and community members as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures. For more information, visit cie.calpoly.edu/slo-hothouse.

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

August 30, 2018
 

Cal Poly Announces SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator Program’s 2018 Cohort

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

 

Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has accepted eight 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 that need funding and CIE resources to help launch their companies.

The program provides $10,000 in capital, plus hands-on strategic business guidance from faculty and mentors, weekly programming and dedicated office space in the SLO HotHouse. Companies receive training, introductions to investors, and resources to help move their startups forward. At the end of the program, participants will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors during Demo Day, to be held in September.

The startups represent a variety of concepts, including a women-empowering surf wax, innovative electric vehicle charger, a medical device to help Parkinson’s patients, and sketch comedy used to educate.

“We have an exceptional group of innovators ready to tackle the startup world so they can grow and make a lasting impact locally, nationally and throughout the world,” said Lori Jordan, director of student innovation programs. “Throughout the program, companies will develop their business model, learn how to operate a business, and practice telling their story so they can pitch their company.”

 

Applicants representing disciplines from across campus competed for one of eight available spots in this year’s accelerator program. Thirteen finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges, who chose the final eight companies earlier this month.

“Our accelerator program rapidly increases the odds of each startup’s success, said Jonathan York,” CIE co-founder and interim executive director. “It’s where entrepreneurs come to create the innovative companies that will better our world.”

This year’s accelerator companies are:

– Amped Accessories is an innovative and inexpensive solution that provides access to fast electrical vehicle charging at home. It was conceived by seniors Ryan Amesbury, business administration; Spencer Harrison, industrial and manufacturing engineering; and Akhil Veluru, computer engineering.

– BooBees is the world’s first commercially viable, environmentally sustainable and women-empowered surf wax. It was created by Rose Badrigian, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology in December, and co-founder Isaac Wilkie.

– Clove is a device that with little to no user interaction automatically grows and maintains up to 24 plants for culinary use. Conceived by business administration seniors A.J. Gankhuyag and Kieran Scandrett; Alexander Decker, a mechanical engineering senior; and Aaron Quinn, a biomedical engineering senior.

– Fauna Farms is a marketplace for small, sustainable ranchers to consistently sell their meat to local markets. It was started by seniors Arash Goshtasbi, animal science, and Paul Studer, computer science.

– Gaitway is a medical device with multiple audio-visual stimuli capabilities that can be attached to any cane or walker to help individuals with Parkinson’s overcome freezing of gait. The device is the brainchild of seniors Sidney Collin, biomedical engineering, and Adam Schwartz, business administration.

– Lost Coast Surf Tech has designed the world’s best performing surfboard fin with smart tracking features integrated into a comprehensive mobile app. Graduate aerospace engineering majors Shaun Wixted and Brandon Baldovin developed the technology. https://www.lostcoastsurf.tech

– Roopairs is a business-to-business, mobile “on-demand” platform that connects restaurants with service workers so commercial equipment is properly maintained and repaired at all times. The platform was started by seniors David Bartolomucci, business administration, and Tommy Jara, agricultural business, along with co-founder Ray Bartolomucci.

– Sex.E provides sex education and gender-based violence education to institutions through sketch comedy shows, online sketch videos and social media content. Brianna Rodebaugh, a mechanical engineering senior, and Jacob Corsaro, who graduated from Cal Poly in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in communications, conceived this startup.

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. 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 the 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.

Photo information: Accelerator.jpg — Front row (from left): Arlo Rudy, Brianna Rodebaugh, Rose Badrigian and Aaron Quinn. Middle row (from left): Arash Goshtasbi, Kieran Scandrett, Alexander Decker, Andrew Lam, Brandon Baldovin and Tynan Guerra. Back row (from left): Paul Studer, Spencer Harrison, Ryan Amesbury, Sidney Collin, Shaun Wixted, Tommy Jara,

Raymond Bartolomucci, David Bartolomucci and Therin Heryford.

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Cal Poly to Host Entrepreneurship Forum Introducing New Round of SLO HotHouse Accelerators on May 15

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will announce the student-founded startups selected for the SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program during an entrepreneurship forum on Tuesday, May 15, in the Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo on the university campus.

Entrepreneurs from each Cal Poly startup will introduce to the community the business ideas they expect to hone over the 13-week program. The Summer Accelerator gives Cal Poly students and recent alumni access to hands-on mentorship, weekly workshops and access to $10,000 in seed funding to start building their business.

The student entrepreneurs will be joined by panelist Joel Flory, a Cal Poly alumnus who co
-founded VSCO, a smartphone photo application. VSCO has been named Apple’s “App of the Year,” Google Play’s “Best Apps of 2015” and Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Media.”

Flory, the Oakland-based company’s CEO, leads the firm on its mission to “equip, educate and inspire anyone on the journey toward reaching their creative potential.” According to Business Insider, “VSCO is the app professional Instagrammers use to make their photos look amazing.”

Flory and his co-founder, Greg Lutze, combined their passions for photography and technology to build VSCO, which stands for Visual Supply Co., in 2011. Flory was integral in growing VSCO to over 1 million paying subscribers and securing more than $70 million in funding. He understands the complex nature of building and sustaining a brand in the creative industry.

The forum is free, open to the public and held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

During the P.E.N. (Pitches, Exhibits, Networking) portion of the evening, the 2018 SLO HotHouse Accelerator companies will be introduced, followed by the “Business Card Hustle,” a game where accelerator companies compete for resources by collecting as many business cards from attendees.

The quarterly Entrepreneurship Forum Series is presented by Sambazon. Advanced registration is required. For more details to register, visit https://ciemayforum.eventbrite.com.

Cal Poly to Host Entrepreneurship Forum Focused on New Media on Feb. 27

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A panel of industry experts including a former Fox Television president and a social media marketer-entrepreneur will discuss why new media is vital to success in business at Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s forum Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo on campus.

The theme of CIE’s winter entrepreneurship forum, “Get Connected: Entrepreneurship in the Rise of New Media,” is how a media landscape transformed by social media, among others, presents new opportunities to connect with potential customers, as well as challenges in breaking through the noise of 24/7 online connectivity.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, features panelists Sandy Grushow and Jason Neubauer. It will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Grushow spent 24 years at Fox, many of which he served as chairman. During that time, he was involved with the launch of shows including “The Simpsons,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Family Guy,” “The X-Files,” “American Idol,” “24,” and “House.” After leaving the network in 2004, Grushow turned his focus to digital media and technology, taking on positions such as CEO of Phase Two Media and advisor to the Weather Channel. He was recently named the executive chairman of Winston House Media, a new, music-focused lifestyle brand.

Neubauer was named Social Media Campaign Millennial Engagement of 2017 by the Internet Marketing Association. He is currently the founder and CEO of the Santa Claus Affect. His initial video has been watched on Facebook more than 21 million times. He’s also proposed a TV show about the Santa Claus Affect, which seeks to “change the dialogue on social media, as well as society overall, from one that promotes self-satisfaction to one that aims at helping as many people as possible.” Neubauer is also an entrepreneur who was one of the first to recognize the power that social media influencers have on consumers. He’s a co-founder of Coolbox, a tool box for the 21st century, that was seen in an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

“Attendees of our winter forum will learn about new media’s important role in building a company, as well as how mastering it has contributed to our panelists’ successes,” said Jonathan York, CIE’s cofounder and interim executive director. “Our forums are designed to bring entrepreneurial-minded people from the Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo communities together to create a productive learning and networking experience.”

The Entrepreneurship Forum Series is presented by Sambazon. Advanced registration is required. For more details to register, visit febforum18.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. 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 the 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.

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

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Cal Poly Seeks Entries for First Ever Central California Angel Conference

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Startups could receive up to $200,000 in angel-backed investments by applying for the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) 2018 Angel Conference.

Entrepreneurs looking to participate must apply by Jan. 31. The cost is $99, which includes entrance and dinner for two to the March 29 event. Apply online at bit.ly/ccangelconference. 

Six selected finalists will pitch in front of angel investors and an audience at the conference. The investors will vote and invest up to $200,000 in the winning startup.

Each investor contributed $6,000 in a fund set-up as a limited liability company (LLC). About 60 percent of investors are local to San Luis Obispo County, 30 percent are from Santa Barbara County and 10 percent are from Fresno County.

The inaugural Angel Conference will be held March 29 at 4:30 p.m., at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo. Tickets are $150 for audience members, or $800 per table, which include entrance to the event and dinner.

For more information on eligibility, requirements and event registration, visit bit.ly/ccangelconferencedinner, or contact Adam Lingerfelt, SBDC project coordinator, at (805) 756-5180 or alingerf@calpoly.edu.

The Angel Conference is presented by Pacific Premier Bank.

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 CIE Small Business Development Center
The Cal Poly CIE Small Business Development Center is funded in part through a subcontract between Cal Poly, the city of San Luis Obispo and UC Merced, under the current cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC is a top resource for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, offering no-cost, expert one-on-one business consulting, training and online courses in startup assistance, debt and equity funding, sales and marketing, international trade and product commercialization. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit http://sbdc.calpoly.edu/.

 

Cal Poly Center Named Finalist for National Entrepreneurship Award

The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) is one of two finalists for the 2018 National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program award offered by the nation’s largest organization of teachers, scholars and practitioners in entrepreneurship.

The winner will be announced Jan. 14 during the annual conference of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Los Angeles. The other finalist is the Syracuse University.

“Regardless of what happens, this is a prestigious honor for our program,” said Jonathan York, CIE interim executive director and co-founder. “This recognition indicates that we are at the leading edge in our comprehensive approach to entrepreneurship education, and it is very gratifying for our efforts to be validated by our peers.”

USASBE, with more than 1,000 members from universities and colleges, for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations and the public sector, is the largest independent, professional, academic organization dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship.

The Model Program award is given annually to a university entrepreneurship program that offers high-quality innovative programs to educate and develop future generations of entrepreneurs. Programs are evaluated on innovation, quality, comprehensiveness, sustainability, transferability, depth of support and impact.

Past award winners include San Diego State University, Baylor University, the University of Tampa, Wake Forest University, Oklahoma State University and Ball State to name a few.

How Tech Expanded From Silicon Valley to Bubblegum Alley

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — San Luis Obispo has a reputation for being a sleepy town in central California known for its laid-back charm. Top tourist draws are a nearby 18th-century Spanish mission and Bubblegum Alley, a walkway lined with chewed gum. But Rick Stollmeyer, the chief executive of MindBody, envisioned it as a bustling tech hub.

Nestled along the coast about 230 miles south of San Francisco, San Luis Obispo is far from Silicon Valley. The distance presented a challenge for Mr. Stollmeyer, who sought to lure talent to a small college town known by the acronym SLO, where nature buffs and health food junkies go to find their nirvana.

The New York Times | by Kathy Chin Leong

View Article

Cal Poly to Host Entrepreneurship Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility on Nov. 8

Contact: Candice Conti 

805-756-7171; clconti@calpoly.edu

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will host a panel of entrepreneurs at the Corporate Social Responsibility forum on Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Performing Arts Center on campus.

The theme of the forum is the value of corporate social responsibility and how practicing it helps others and increases a company’s success and brand. The forum, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The panel discussion will focus on how considering the economic, social and environmental impacts for all stakeholders contributes to sustainable development. Panelists include:

— Doug Klein, former Walt Disney Imagineer and current managing director of Matchfire, a company that has raised over $150 million since 2001 for brands around the world and created hundreds of award-winning purpose campaigns for celebrities, entertainment studios, Fortune 50 companies and global nonprofits.

— Dan O’Hare, managing principal at Glenn Burdette, the first CPA organization in California to be employee-owned.

— Rafael Pintor, co-founder of Atsa Foods, a snack food company that uses native superfoods to create opportunity in Native American communities and American open spaces.

— Renee Junge, chief marketing officer of Sambazon, a pioneer of fair trade, organic acai products.

During the P.E.N. (Pitches, Exhibits, Networking) portion of the evening from 5 to 6 p.m., the finalists of the eighth annual Elevator Pitch Competition will have 90 seconds to present their pitches in front of the panel for a chance to win $1,000. The winners of the competition will be revealed at the end of the night.

“Attendees to our fall forum will learn how a group of entrepreneurs whose efforts to improve society have benefited their companies,” said Tod Nelson, CIE executive director. “They will also have the opportunity to vote for the Elevator Pitch Competition Audience Choice Award.”  

The forum is presented by Samabazon and sponsored by SESLOC Federal Credit Union and Cuesta College. Advance registration is required. For more details and to register, visit epc17.eventbrite.com.

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