Business

SLO HotHouse adds 8 startups for Summer Accelerator program

Participants in the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s SLO HotHouse program: Front row (left to right), Jared Becker, Sonya Bengali, Aryiana Hanson, Ashley Tovar, Naomi Fuad and Richard Riedl. Back row (left to right), Michael Wong, Nicholas Verhage, Tavin Boynton, Matthew Maxwell, Ryan Stojanovich, Adrian Eaton, Elan Timmons, Maxwell Fong, Griffin Paul, Lucas Toohey, Jacob Copus, Gannon Daynes and Loren Sunding.
Participants in the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s SLO HotHouse program: Front row (left to right), Jared Becker, Sonya Bengali, Aryiana Hanson, Ashley Tovar, Naomi Fuad and Richard Riedl. Back row (left to right), Michael Wong, Nicholas Verhage, Tavin Boynton, Matthew Maxwell, Ryan Stojanovich, Adrian Eaton, Elan Timmons, Maxwell Fong, Griffin Paul, Lucas Toohey, Jacob Copus, Gannon Daynes and Loren Sunding.

Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship has accepted eight startup companies into this year’s SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program.

The intensive, 13-week program is designed for students and recent graduates to help develop new ventures.

The program provides $10,000 in seed money, hands-on strategic business guidance from faculty and mentors and dedicated office space during the summer at SLO HotHouse. Companies receive training, introductions to investors and other resources. At the end of the program, they will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors during Demo Day.

The new startups represent a variety of concepts, including virtual reality, devices that aid in preventing sexual assaults, environmentally friendly transportation and smart irrigation technology for growing wine grapes.

More than 25 applicants representing disciplines from across campus competed for a spot in the sixth annual accelerator program. Twelve final teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges.

“Our Accelerator is designed to attract and produce early-stage startups and rapidly increase the odds of each startup’s success,” said CIE Executive Director Tod Nelson. “... This is a long-term play: These startups will be pillars of our local economy in 10 or 20 years.”

This year’s companies are:

▪  AT Irrigation — offers a smart network of soil moisture probes and precision valves to reduce water consumption and improve crop quality in grape growing. Conceived by Adrian Eaton, mechanical engineering, and Timothy Holst, wine and viticulture.

▪  Abode Venues — a residential venue directory for affordable, private residences used for meetings, events or weddings. Created by Ashley Tovar, liberal studies, and Naomi Fuad, graphic communication (along with Cuesta College student Aryiana Hanson).

▪  BoltAbout.com — rents fast and environmentally friendly electronic bikes to college students. Developed by Matthew Maxwell, business administration; Tavin Boynton, graphic communication; and Ryan Stojanovich, agricultural business.

▪  Current — developed a phone case with a stun gun that automatically alerts the police to help prevent sexual assaults. Created by Elan Timmons, mechanical engineering, and Maxwell Fong, industry technology and packaging.

▪  Everyday Bike Components — produces a bicycle cargo option for bicycle commuters. Started by Richard Riedl, mechanical engineer; Loren Sunding, manufacturing engineer; and Griffin Paul, biomedical engineer.

▪  ObserVR — a virtual reality application that allows a user to stream multiple 2-D videos in a 3-D environment, offering simultaneous viewing. Created by Lucas Toohey, business administration, and Jacob Copus, computer engineering.

▪  PCKit — ships customers the parts and instructions they need to build their own gaming desktop. Created by Nicholas Verhage, computer engineering; Michael Wong, industrial engineering; and Kiley Becker, business administration.

▪  Spectrvm — an insert for hydration backpacks that allows people to feel bass frequencies from live DJs at electronic dance music festivals through the body. Designed by Jared Becker, mechanical engineering; Gannon Daynes and Sonya Bengali, business administration.

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