FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cal Poly’s top innovators will present their startup ideas after three months of preparation.
SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will host its annual Demo Day to showcase nine startups in-person at SLO Brew Rock and online on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
The event culminates the 2021 CIE Summer Accelerator, an intensive, three-month program that helps Cal Poly students and recent graduates develop their startup ideas into sustainable businesses. Representatives from each of the companies will pitch their startups and show what they’ve accomplished with the help of dedicated CIE mentors and staff.
“Our student entrepreneurs have been working hard all summer on exciting new ventures,” said Jose Huitron, the CIE’s director of student innovation programs. “Demo Day is our chance to showcase what these teams have been working on and give the greater community an inside view into the next chapter of Cal Poly innovation and entrepreneurship.”
The Summer Accelerator program provides teams with $10,000 in seed funding to build their startups, as well as access to mentorship from industry experts and tailored workshops that delve into the details of building a business.
Demo Day will give the 2021 Summer Accelerator cohort an opportunity to show how months of hard work and collaboration prepared them to turn their startups into viable business endeavors.
“We wouldn’t be here without the tremendous time and effort the CIE faculty, mentors and guest speakers have invested into us,” said Russell Caletena, co-founder of Accelerator startup Slolar who received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in June. “Each programmed session and office hour gave us opportunities to apply our championed ‘Learn by Doing’ philosophy and ensure we’re on the right path leading up to Demo Day.”
This year’s Accelerator cohort includes a wide range of industries and disciplines, from renewable energy to postpartum care and footwear innovation.
“The overall teamwork, diversity of ideas that span global industries and truly interdisciplinary skill-sets (were) exemplified by a group of amazing student entrepreneurs and innovators,” Huitron said. “I anticipate we’ll see some groundbreaking results in the very near future.”
This year’s cohort includes:
— ARTIFEX is creating a drawing tool that will save architects time and money. It was founded by Elijah Williams of Berkeley, California, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture, and Anna Baytosh, a graduate business student from Gold River, California.
— For Mom is building a postpartum recovery platform that provides holistic support to ensure mothers properly heal after birth. It was launched by Christina Grigorian of La Crescenta, California, who earned her master’s degree in biomedical engineering, and Camila Monchini of Santa Monica, California, who is a graduate biomedical engineering student.
— Intego Technology, formerly Intego Sports, is working to create the most durable and sustainable footwear on the market with a patent-pending manufacturing process. It was founded by business administration junior Alexandra Joelson of Carlsbad, California and environmental management and protection junior Samuel Andrews of Boulder, Colorado. As a freshman, Joelson won the 2019 Cal Poly CIE Elevator Pitch Competition with a 90-second pitch for Intego Sport’s Cleat Guard, a silicone-like mold that adhered to the bottom of a cleat to prevent wear-down.
— Kit & Sis, formerly AG Sisters, is helping children explore hands-on crafting through subscription craft boxes, in-person and virtual summer camps, special events and more. It was founded by twin sisters Madeline and Gabrielle Pollock, both business administration juniors with concentrations in entrepreneurship, and their childhood friend Kate Lally, who is a business administration sophomore at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. They are all from Los Gatos, California.
— OdinXR is developing an educational virtual reality sandbox that engineering students can use to conduct experiments. It was founded by electrical engineering senior Tessa Luzuriaga of Temecula, California and computer engineering senior Ali Mohammad of Escondido, California.
— PowerMove, formerly FEARLESS Fitness Kids, is developing immersive video games with exercise as the core component to keep children active. It was founded by Sara Glaser, a 2021 business administration graduate from Calabasas, California and business administration senior Madison Lewandowski of Santa Barbara, California. Glaser and Lewandowski won the 2021 Cal Poly CIE Innovation Quest competition with their idea for FEARLESS Fitness Kids.
— Slolar is empowering residential solar panel owners to accelerate their return on investment. It was founded by Caletena of Glendale, California and recent graduates Paul Romano, mechanical engineering, of Los Olivos, California and Fernando Estevez, computer engineering, of Goleta, California.
— TractorCloud is building a hardware-software solution to help farmers and operations managers monitor the maintenance of their vehicles. It was founded by computer science graduate student Morgan Swanson of Pleasanton, California, industrial technology and packaging graduate Harrison Whitaker of Carmel Valley, California and Roxanne Miller of San Ramon, California, who earned a master’s in computer science in June.
— Zoetic Running, formerly Muscle Ninja, is developing wearable technology to help runners move without injury. It was founded by Ivet Avalos of Moorpark, California, who graduated in June with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, and computer science graduate student Zeeshan Khan of Los Gatos, California.
Demo Day general admission tickets to attend in-person are available for $10. In-person seating is limited due to COVID regulations. SLO Brew Rock is at 8555 Aerovista Lane.
Virtual tickets are free to watch the event on YouTube Live.
Register for in-person or virtual tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/demo-day-2021-tickets-162570792617?aff=CIEWebsite.
About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship:
The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunities to Cal Poly students, faculty and community members and promotes entrepreneurial activity across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo. For more information, visit cie.calpoly.edu.
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Contact: Stephanie Zombek