Cal Poly Announces CIE HotHouse Summer Accelerator 2021 Cohort

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) accepted eight startup teams and an additional remote participant into this year’s HotHouse Summer Accelerator program.

The intensive 13-week program helps Cal Poly students and recent graduates develop their startup ideas and launch their companies. The selected teams are provided with $10,000 in seed funding, access to expert mentorship and tailored workshops and a dedicated office space in the SLO HotHouse

“The accelerator is our most comprehensive offering at the CIE, providing a true launchpad experience for student entrepreneurial teams through workshops, mentorship, community building, leadership development and access to capital,” CIE Director of Student Innovation Programs Jose Huitron said.

At the end of the program, teams will be given the opportunity to pitch their companies to investors and show what they accomplished during their time in the accelerator at Demo Day, to be held in September.

Applicants from across the Cal Poly campus competed for one of the eight available spots in this year’s HotHouse Summer Accelerator. A dozen finalists were considered from the initial 26 applicants before eight were chosen by a panel of judges earlier this month. 

This year’s cohort represents a variety of concepts, from childrens’ health and wellness with this year’s Innovation Quest winner FEARLESS Fitness Kids, to virtual reality innovation with Odin XR. 

“We have such a high-energy group and diverse set of entrepreneurs that I’m excited to work with over the course of the summer,” Huitron said. “I believe this is going to be one of our most dynamic cohorts yet and what is shaping up to be an eventful summer of learning and growth.”

This year’s cohort includes:

AG Sisters, a startup that helps children explore hands-on crafting through virtual and in-person camps, special events, subscription craft kits and more. AG Sisters was founded by second-year business administration majors Madeline Pollock and Gabrielle Pollock and first-year business administration major Kate Lally, all from Los Gatos, California.

FEARLESS Fitness Kids, a startup developing immersive video games with exercise as their core mechanic to keep children healthy, active and entertained. FEARLESS Fitness Kids was developed by fourth-year business administration majors Sara Glaser of Los Angeles, California and Madison Lewandowski of Santa Barbara, California, second-year biomedical engineering major Clayton Pelz of Portland, Oregon and fourth-year computer science major Emily O’Neal of Santa Cruz, California.

For Mom, a postpartum recovery platform that provides holistic support to ensure that mothers properly heal after birth, developed by blended bachelor’s and master’s biomedical engineering program students Camila Monchini of Santa Monic, California and Christina Grigorian of La Crescenta, California.

Intego Sports, a startup creating the most durable and sustainable footwear on the market through their patent-pending manufacturing process. The Intego Sports team includes second-year business administration students Alexandra Joelson of San Diego, California and Allison Wagner of San Jose, California and second-year environmental management and protection student Samuel Andrews of Boulder, Colorado.

Muscle Ninja, an attachable sensor that uses electromyography, or recordings of the electrical activity of muscle tissue, to better inform users of their muscle activation status during exercise to minimize the risk of injury. Muscle Ninja was created by mechanical engineering senior Ivet Avalos from Moorpark, California and computer science senior Zeeshan Khan from Los Gatos.

Odin XR, an extended reality (XR) company developing an educational virtual reality (VR) sandbox that can be used by science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students to conduct experiments. Odin XR was created by electrical engineering junior Tessa Luzuriaga of Temecula, California, computer engineering junior Ali Mohammad of San Diego, electrical engineering sophomore Michaela Whitcomb-Weston of Sacramento, California, art and design junior Ruben Curiel of Palmdale, California, electrical engineering sophomore Chrisian Bloemhof of Shafter, California, aerospace engineering junior Isaac Velasco of Atascadero, California, Channel Islands University software development sophomore Cole Moody of Ventura, California,computer engineering senior Luke Matusiak and Ralis Daum of Oceanside, California.

SLOLAR, a company looking to increase the residential solar panel owner’s power generation while increasing the overall grid power generation created by mechanical engineering senior Paul Romano of Los Olivos, California, electrical engineering senior Russell Caletena of Glendale, California and computer engineering seniors Fernando Estevez of Goleta, California and Yash Desai of Fremont, California.

Tractor Cloud, an end-to-end heavy machinery diagnostic, management and predictive maintenance cloud platform developed by liberal arts and engineering studies senior Takumi Arai of Torrance, California, industrial technology and packaging senior Harrison Whitaker of Carmel Valley, California, electrical engineering seniors Jin Huang of Buena Park, California and Kyle Kesler of Poway, California, computer science senior Roxanne Miller of San Ramon, California and computer science master’s student Morgan Swanson of Pleasanton, California.

Also joining the HotHouse Summer Accelerator as a remote participant is ARTIFEX, a startup leveraging Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors and Machine Learning to create a drawing tool that will help architects and builders save time and money. The ARTIFEX team includes graduated architecture students Elijah Williams of Berkeley, California and Logan Kozlik of Hastland, Wisconsin and Harvey Mudd College graduate Nathaniel Diamant, also from Berkeley.