Cal Poly Announces HotHouse Summer Accelerator Program’s 2019 Cohort

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has accepted seven startup companies into the 2019 HotHouse Summer Accelerator program. The intense 12-week program is designed for students and recent graduates who have developed new ventures and need funding and CIE resources to help launch their companies.

The program provides these teams with $10,000 in capital, plus hands-on strategic business guidance from faculty and mentors, dedicated office space in the HotHouse, and weekly programming. Accelerator companies will also receive training, introduction to investors and resources to help advance their startups.

The CIE Accelerator program will begin June 17. At its conclusion, participants will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors during Demo Day, to be held Sept. 6 at the Fremont Theater in downtown San Luis Obispo.

The startups represent a variety of concepts, including a customizable camper shell, an ethical online marketplace platform, and innovative furniture with a mission.

“The teams chosen for this year’s program make up a remarkably innovative group of people prepared to take on the entrepreneurial world and make both local and global changes,” said Joanne Feeney, director of student innovation programs. “The accelerator program will enhance the groups’ business model development, operational skills, and pitching techniques to best represent their companies.”

Twenty-three startup representing disciplines from across Cal Poly’s campus applied to compete for one of seven available spots in this year’s accelerator program. Twelve finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges who selected the final seven companies:

— Armadillo Designs is creating the All-Access Camper, which is a customizable camper shell with a convertible roof. The camper is the creation of manufacturing engineering junior Samuel Hunt and Bradley Bowman, a business administration junior.

— Ethic Marketplace is an ethical and sustainable online marketplace platform with a mission to inspire and enable conscious consumerism that factors in social, environmental, ecological, and political impacts. The platform was created by liberal arts and engineering studies senior Garrett Perkins, and architecture junior Jess Corr.

— Ropegun is a fitness tracker, route-guide and social media platform for climbers created by graphic communications graduate Joseph Sobrero and Nathaniel Furbeyre, a  mechanical engineer graduate.

— Totem is an augmented reality festival experience platform that elevates the festival experience for attendees and organizers alike. The platform is the brainchild of Tal Kornfeld and Rémi Crosetti, both business administration seniors, and Morgan Buss, a mechanical engineering junior.

— Tulum Cosmetics is a direct-to-consumer matte liquid lipstick containing the medical treatment to heal and conceal cold sores. The lipstick is conceived by Emily Penuen, business administration graduate, and Megan Steiger, art and design junior.

— Tunmi Da Silva Designs is a brand of custom furniture with more than a functional purpose. The furniture is the creation of Tunmi Da Silva, an architecture graduate.

— Wayve Filtration is a portable, handheld water filter that can attach to any sink or spout, providing travelers with a convenient solution for obtaining clean water wherever they go. The device was conceived by graduate Sierra Scolaro, business administration; senior Zachary Pollatsek, mechanical engineering; and graduate Jonah Heath, industrial engineering.

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

About the HotHouse

The 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 HotHouse is to support the students and community members as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures. For more information, visit

Photo information: Accelerator.jpg

Front row (from left): Samuel Hunt, Sierra Scolaro, Zachary Pollatsek, Nathaniel Furbeyre, Emily Penuen, Tal Kornfeld, Tunmi Da Silva. Back row (from left): Bradley Bowman, Jonah Heath, Joseph Sobrero, Megan Steiger, Rémi Crosetti, Garrett Perkins. Not pictured: Jess Corr and Morgan Buss.

Contact: Candice Conti


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