Cal Poly’s CIE to Host Spring Entrepreneurship Forum Featuring Alumnus, Olympian and Startup Founder Simon Arkell on May 14

Keynote to include discussion on AI and big data; event will also reveal newest class of student entrepreneurs to join CIE’s Summer HotHouse Accelerator program

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will host its annual Spring Entrepreneurship Forum on Tuesday, May 14, to discuss the ever-increasing role of artificial intelligence in the startup world and announce the student-founded startups selected for the CIE’s summer HotHouse Startup Accelerator program.

Attendees will learn about the growing importance of embracing and mastering big data and artificial intelligence in the startup world.

Simon Arkell will break down the intimidating subject of AI and share insights about how it can be leveraged in any startup. Arkell is a two-time pole vault Olympian (Australia) and president and co-founder of Deep Lens, an artificial intelligence software company providing a deep learning-based digital pathology platform to hospitals worldwide,

Prior to Deep Lens, the Cal Poly alumnus (MBA, ’94) was founding CEO of Predixion Software Inc., a predictive analytics platform software company, before Greenwave Systems Inc. acquired it in 2016. Predixion, which was named a visionary for advanced analytics by Gartner Inc., had raised more than $46 million from strategic and venture investors including General Electric Co., Accenture, Dell EMC and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

“The CIE is proud to help our community stay on the cutting-edge of technology,” said CIE Executive Director Tod Nelson. “Big data isn’t going away anytime soon, and this forum is designed to make it feel more accessible.”

In addition, forum attendees will have an opportunity to see and meet budding entrepreneurs at the very start of the entrepreneurial process. Cal Poly student entrepreneurs will unveil their business plans to the community, marking the start of their 13-week journey in CIE’s summer accelerator program where the students and alumni hone in their business ideas, work with mentors, attend weekly workshops and have access to $10,000 in seed funding to kick-start their businesses.

During the P.E.N. (Pitches, Exhibits, Networking) portion of the evening, the 2019 CIE HotHouse Accelerator companies will be introduced, followed by “Business Card Hustle,” a game in which accelerator companies compete for resources by collecting as many business cards from attendees as they can.

Glenn Burdette, a San Luis Obispo-based CPA, Bank of America, SLO Seed Venture and Pacific Premier Bank are sponsoring the Spring Entrepreneurship Forum. Advance registration for the forum is required. For more information and to register, visit

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