Eight startup companies have been selected by Cal Poly's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to participate in an intensive 13-week SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program.
The HotHouse — at 872 Higuera St. in downtown San Luis Obispo — offers reduced rates for office space and professional guidance for students and recent graduates who have developed new ventures that need funding and CIE resources to help launch their company.
The program also provides $10,000 in capital, training and introductions to investors, according to the school.
"We have an exceptional group of innovators ready to tackle the startup world so they can grow and make a lasting impact locally, nationally and throughout the world," said Lori Jordan, Cal Poly's director of student innovation programs. "Throughout the program, companies will develop their business model, learn how to operate a business, and practice telling their story so they can pitch their company."
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Applicants from across campus competed for eight available spots in this year's program. The 13 finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, who then selected the final eight participants.
CIE co-founder and interim executive director Jonathan York said the accelerator program "rapidly increases the odds of each startup's success."
"It's where entrepreneurs come to create the innovative companies that will better our world," York said.
The startup companies at Cal Poly's HotHouse are:
- Amped Accessories: provides access to fast electrical vehicle charging at home.
- BooBees: creates commercially viable, environmentally sustainable and women-empowered surf wax.
- Clove: a device that with little-to-no user interaction automatically grows and maintains up to 24 plants for culinary use.
- Fauna Farms: a marketplace for small, sustainable ranchers to consistently sell their meat to local markets.
- Gaitway: a medical device with multiple audio-visual stimuli capabilities that can be attached to any cane or walker to help individuals with Parkinson's overcome freezing of gait.
- Lost Coast Surf Tech: a surfboard fin with smart tracking features integrated into a comprehensive mobile app.
- Roopairs: a business-to-business, mobile "on-demand" platform that connects restaurants with service workers so commercial equipment is properly maintained and repaired at all times.
- Sex.E: provides sex education and gender-based violence education to institutions through sketch comedy shows, online sketch videos and social media content.