Six Startups Complete the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Incubator Program

Graduating teams at the CIE HotHouse December 5, 2023 (DEMO and Zoetic Motion not pictured). From left to right: Stan Kaplita, Founder and CEO of Zeste Farms; Morgan Swanson, Founder and CEO of TractorCloud; Judy Mahan, CIE Senior Economic Development Director; Adam Stager, Founder and CEO of TRIC Robotics; Donald Lee, Co-founder and CTO at Novocuff.

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Six startup companies have completed the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Incubator program

“CIE provides a structured, two-year program for early-stage startups that includes all the resources needed to facilitate smarter, faster growth,” CIE Senior Economic Development Director Judy Mahan said of the Incubator. “After working closely with these companies over the course of their development, we are excited to see where the future takes them as they continue to expand and grow.”

Since its inception in 2010, the CIE has promoted regional economic development. To date, these six companies have collectively created 28 jobs, benefitted from 1,364 hours of one-on-one consultation, received $1,700,000 in grants/awards and raised $7 million in venture capital.

The companies graduating from the CIE Incubator program include: 

Demo Studios is a blockchain marketplace for IP licensing, starting with music. They help music creators sell collaboration rights to their content. 

Novocuff is advancing the field of maternal health by developing a device to prevent preterm labor and improve outcomes for infants and families. 

TractorCloud is an end-to-end heavy machinery diagnostic, management and predictive maintenance cloud platform. 

TRIC Robotics is combining ultraviolet light with automation to provide farmers with an alternative for pesticides that is equally effective and chemical free. 

Zeste Farms is a grower and shipper of leafy greens and herbs employing their patented indoor vertical farming solution designed for sustainable, scalable and affordable produce production. 

Zoetic Motion is helping to improve patient adherence by gamifying the physical therapy process and equipping physical therapists with the ability to maximize patient progress. 

“Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey. Joining the Incubator gave me access to resources, mentors and classes that taught me how to take the next steps with my startup,” Adam Stager, founder and CEO of TRIC Robotics, said. “It’s also a great forum for communicating with other founders.” 

The CIE recently added seven new startups to the Incubator, making a total of 15 startups in the program. 

Castle Innovations is bringing firearm safety into the 21st century with their innovative firearm safety device integrated with high-speed biometric technology.

Horizen Biotech is creating a non-invasive, one-time-use smart patch that uses chemical sensing based on sweat to monitor users’ blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. 

Mense is a feminine hygiene product company with a mission to provide a more comfortable, safe solution for people with periods.

Next Best Home is quickly qualifying and helping people with placements in assisted living communities.

Nexstera Tech is pushing the boundaries of material differentiation and detection through radar and transforming the way waste management operates.

PureSite is dedicated to the design, production, installation, and upkeep of air purification systems.

Quickie Delivery Co is delivering convenience store essentials like snacks, beverages, ice cream and daily essentials to college students quickly, affordably, and sustainably.

The CIE offers faculty, students and the business community the tools to transform their innovative ideas into viable businesses. By providing quality coaching, professional consulting and connections with industry professionals, the CIE creates an environment in which new businesses can develop and thrive. 

The CIE incubator program is open to the business community, Cal Poly affiliation is not required. Open enrollment year-round. Startups interested in applying for the Incubator program should go to


Contact: Judy Mahan