Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Announces 2024 Summer Accelerator Cohort

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has accepted eight startup teams into its Summer Accelerator, an intensive 12-week program that provides Cal Poly students and recent graduates with the resources necessary to turn their innovative ideas into full-fledged startups.

Participants receive $10,000 in seed funding and access to expert mentorship, entrepreneurial workshops and a dedicated workspace in the HotHouse, the CIE’s office in downtown San Luis Obispo.

“This Summer Accelerator cohort is unique because several teams used Innovation Quest as a springboard to advance into this program, which demonstrates the relative maturity of business development for those entering the Accelerator this year,” said Dr. Thomas Katona, CIE academic programs director. “I think this group is going to be a source of excitement and pride for our alumni and local community.”

Six teams in this cohort participated in Innovation Quest (iQ), a high-stakes competition where Cal Poly students pitch their innovative business ideas to a panel of judges in the hopes of winning funding for their startups.

The 2024 Summer Accelerator teams represent a variety of ideas, from military technology with Neurocom and Skymark to combating medical issues with The Infantry.

“It’s interesting to see how several of these students have been involved in our entrepreneurship programs in the past. Even if they were working on different ideas then, they’re sticking with their entrepreneurship journey, which brought them to the Accelerator,” said Oliver Haas, CIE student programs coordinator.

This year’s cohort includes:

GamRewired: A mobile app designed to replace a person’s gambling addiction with healthy habits. It was created by business administration graduate Austin Hatfield of San Clemente, California and computer science and business administration senior Diana Koralski of Redmond, Washington. GamRewired received the second-place prize of $10,000 prize at iQ 2024.

Greensight AI: Aiming to revolutionize electronic resellers’ workflow by creating an Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven solution. Created by general engineering senior Jake Daniels of Palo Alto, California, computer engineering senior Diego Curiel of Santa Barbara, California and computer engineering senior Chris Lawson of Atascadero, California. Greensight AI was a participant in iQ 2024.

Neurocom: Increasing situational awareness on the battlefield with a new type of human-machine interface headset that lets soldiers access geospatial data. Created by mechanical engineering junior Alex Rosenbaum of Seattle, Washington. Neurocom was a participant in iQ 2024.

ODIN: A portable headset designed to quickly and accurately diagnose concussions through the use of ocular-tracking technology. It was created by: economics major Connor Heffler and biomedical engineering student Trace Bell, both seniors of San Diego, California;  biomedical engineering junior Josh Gottschalk of Branford, Connecticut; computer science senior Noah Cain of Bolingbrook, Illinois; mechanical engineering senior Graham Edelman of San Jose, California; and biomedical engineering graduate student Marina Zellers of Lompoc, California. ODIN received the top prize of $15,000 at iQ 2024.

SafePlate Technologies: Creating a safe and worry-free food experience for Americans with allergies and intolerances by enabling food manufacturers to provide customers with accurately tested products through infrared technology. SafePlate was created by: mechanical engineering seniors Nahal Sadeghian of Folsom, California, and Mitchell Dann; computer engineering senior Avery Taylor of Orangeville, California; and business administration senior Josh Chao of Seattle. The startup was a participant in iQ 2024.

Skymark: Enabling warfighters to identify if a drone is a friend or foe through detection technology. It was created by computer science junior Oleksandr Gorpynich of San Jose, California, computer science sophomores Vasanth Pugalenthi of San Ramon, California, Brian Mai of San Lorenzo, California and Shynn Lawrence of Fremont, California and computer engineering sophomore Matan Kedar of San Jose, California.

The Infantry: A single-use device creating a safer alternative for mothers and their infants during shoulder dystocia complications from vaginal births. The startup was created by: biomedical engineering seniors Rachel Rowe of Bellevue and Madeline Mumford of Snoqualmie, both in Washington state; and Jenna Eissmann of Reno, Nevada. The Infantry received the third-place $5,000 award at iQ 2024.

Virtuosos: A rhythm gaming software designed to auto-generate levels based on music that participants and musicians upload. It was created by computer science graduate student Lucas Li of Morgan Hills, California; alumnus Brett Hickman (Computer Science, ’23) of Mission Viejo, California, business administration junior Pedro Talavera Fernandez of Philo, California and business administration senior Jeremy Tai of Los Angeles, California.

“I look forward to working with such a special group that is tackling very challenging global problems,” said Katona.


About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE):

The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunities 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, visit