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SLO HotHouse Teams Reflect Diversity of Engineering Entrepreneurs

May 18, 2017

Four of the seven startup companies were created or co-created by engineering students

Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has accepted seven startup companies into this year’s SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program.

The companies’ creators or co-creators represent a variety of engineering disciplines including biomedical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, materials engineering and software engineering.

The intense 13-week program is designed for students and recent graduates who have developed new ventures and want help making them succeed.

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 the SLO HotHouse. Companies receive training, introductions to investors and resources to help move their ventures forward. At the culmination of the program, they will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors during Demo Day.

The ventures represent a variety of concepts, including health foods, innovative footwear, sustainable building materials and smart solutions for San Luis Obispo house renters. 

“Our accelerators are tackling the startup world head on,” said Lori Jordan, director of student innovation programs, who oversees the program. “We are giving them the tools they need to grow their company, and we are excited to see where their venture takes them and how they make an impact locally, nationally and throughout the world.”

Applicants representing disciplines from across campus competed for a place in the seventh annual accelerator program. Thirteen finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges who chose the final seven companies.

“This program encourages risk takers, innovators and dreamers to pursue their passion,” said the CIE Executive Director Tod Nelson. “The accelerators are encouraged to think without limits. Through creativity, guidance, ambition and grit, these startups will grow to become pillars of the economy and supporters of our community.”

This year’s accelerator companies are:

- Atsá Foods LLC is an innovative food company that is turning Native American superfoods into everyday nutritious snacks and returning value to the Navajo Nation Reservation. It was conceived by Rafael Pintor, agricultural business; Peter Haverkamp, food science; Neal Gorris, industrial technology and packaging; and Sam Baber, art and design.  https://www.atsafoods.com/

- Bluezone uses augmented reality, gamification and big data to inspire discovery and connection between users. It was developed by Brett Foreman and Jimmy Kang, business administration.

- DTE Materials manufactures hemp-based, high-performance, non-toxic and sustainable building insulation material. Created by Tanner Jolly, materials engineering, and Jose Urizar, civil engineering.

 - LocalzOwn is building a platform that its founders say is the smartest and easiest way to source and sell local artisan food products. It was started by Joseph Lyman, biomedical engineering; Michael Fekadu, computer engineering; and Leonel S. Farias, agricultural education.

- Pashion Footwear has designed an adaptable shoe that can easily convert from a pump into a flat that is an innovative and pain-free approach to women’s footwear. It was designed by Haley Pavone, business administration, and Tyler Unbehand, industrial technology and packaging. https://pashionfootwear.com/

- PolyRents has created technology that simplifies the housing rental process for landlords and their prospective tenants. It was created by Cameron Wiese, psychology, and Alexander Kavanaugh, software engineering. http://www.polyrents.com/

Yellow Glass Media creates and curates socially relevant and unbiased media content to inspire viewers to listen, learn and empathize. It was conceived by Nesrine Majzoub, sociology, and Daniel Hornett, civil engineering. http://www.yellowglassmedia.com/

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunity to Cal Poly students, faculty and community members, and promotes entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County. For more information, go tohttp://cie.calpoly.edu/.

About the SLO HotHouse

The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly, the city and county of San Luis Obispo, the business community and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The goal of the SLO HotHouse is to support students and community members as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures. For more information, visit http://cie.calpoly.edu/slo-hothouse.

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Photo: Front row (from left): Rafael PintorSam BaberPeter Haverkamp Michael Fekadu,  Haley Pavone, Tyler Unbehand and Nesrine Majzoub. Back row (from left): Neal GorrisJimmy KangBrett Foreman, Leonel FariasJoseph LymanCameron WieseAlexander Kavanaugh and Jose Urizar. Not pictured: Tanner Jolly and Daniel Hornett.

 

 

 


SLO HotHouse Teams Reflect Diversity of Engineering Entrepreneuialism

May 18, 2017

Four of the seven startup companies were created or co-created by engineering students

Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has accepted seven startup companies into this year’s SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program.

The companies’ creators or co-creators represent a variety of engineering disciplines including biomedical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, materials engineering and software engineering.

The intense 13-week program is designed for students and recent graduates who have developed new ventures and want help making them succeed.

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 the SLO HotHouse. Companies receive training, introductions to investors and resources to help move their ventures forward. At the culmination of the program, they will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors during Demo Day.

The ventures represent a variety of concepts, including health foods, innovative footwear, sustainable building materials and smart solutions for San Luis Obispo house renters. 

“Our accelerators are tackling the startup world head on,” said Lori Jordan, director of student innovation programs, who oversees the program. “We are giving them the tools they need to grow their company, and we are excited to see where their venture takes them and how they make an impact locally, nationally and throughout the world.”

Applicants representing disciplines from across campus competed for a place in the seventh annual accelerator program. Thirteen finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges who chose the final seven companies.

“This program encourages risk takers, innovators and dreamers to pursue their passion,” said the CIE Executive Director Tod Nelson. “The accelerators are encouraged to think without limits. Through creativity, guidance, ambition and grit, these startups will grow to become pillars of the economy and supporters of our community.”

This year’s accelerator companies are:

- Atsá Foods LLC is an innovative food company that is turning Native American superfoods into everyday nutritious snacks and returning value to the Navajo Nation Reservation. It was conceived by Rafael Pintor, agricultural business; Peter Haverkamp, food science; Neal Gorris, industrial technology and packaging; and Sam Baber, art and design.  https://www.atsafoods.com/

- Bluezone uses augmented reality, gamification and big data to inspire discovery and connection between users. It was developed by Brett Foreman and Jimmy Kang, business administration.

- DTE Materials manufactures hemp-based, high-performance, non-toxic and sustainable building insulation material. Created by Tanner Jolly, materials engineering, and Jose Urizar, civil engineering.

 - LocalzOwn is building a platform that its founders say is the smartest and easiest way to source and sell local artisan food products. It was started by Joseph Lyman, biomedical engineering; Michael Fekadu, computer engineering; and Leonel S. Farias, agricultural education.

- Pashion Footwear has designed an adaptable shoe that can easily convert from a pump into a flat that is an innovative and pain-free approach to women’s footwear. It was designed by Haley Pavone, business administration, and Tyler Unbehand, industrial technology and packaging. https://pashionfootwear.com/

- PolyRents has created technology that simplifies the housing rental process for landlords and their prospective tenants. It was created by Cameron Wiese, psychology, and Alexander Kavanaugh, software engineering. http://www.polyrents.com/

Yellow Glass Media creates and curates socially relevant and unbiased media content to inspire viewers to listen, learn and empathize. It was conceived by Nesrine Majzoub, sociology, and Daniel Hornett, civil engineering. http://www.yellowglassmedia.com/

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunity to Cal Poly students, faculty and community members, and promotes entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County. For more information, go tohttp://cie.calpoly.edu/.

About the SLO HotHouse

The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly, the city and county of San Luis Obispo, the business community and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The goal of the SLO HotHouse is to support students and community members as they work to create new innovations and start business ventures. For more information, visit http://cie.calpoly.edu/slo-hothouse.

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Photo: Front row (from left): Rafael PintorSam BaberPeter Haverkamp Michael Fekadu,  Haley Pavone, Tyler Unbehand and Nesrine Majzoub. Back row (from left): Neal GorrisJimmy KangBrett Foreman, Leonel FariasJoseph LymanCameron WieseAlexander Kavanaugh and Jose Urizar. Not pictured: Tanner Jolly and Daniel Hornett.

 

 

 


Cal Poly Receives CSU-Record $110M Gift from William L. Frost

May 04, 2017

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Demonstrating unprecedented support for the nation’s largest public university system and specifically for undergraduate research, California State University alumni William and Linda Frost have given a CSU-record $110 million to Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics.

The gift is among the largest ever to public higher education in California.

The Frosts’ generosity will transform science and mathematics education at Cal Poly by greatly enhancing the resources for undergraduate research. A new interdisciplinary research center will contain almost 18,000 square feet of science and mathematics facilities. In addition, the Frosts’ donation includes $3.6 million annually to support student scholarships and research stipends, cutting-edge equipment and instrumentation, and expanded hiring of instructors, giving faculty members more time to mentor undergraduate students in research.

“Bill and Linda’s gift will impact the lives of countless Cal Poly students, right now and far into the future,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “The Frosts envision Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics housing one of the top undergraduate academic and research programs in the country. Their willingness to think big is an inspiration to all of us and a model for how Cal Poly will continue to provide the creative thinkers and problem-solvers for today’s complex global workforce.”

In developing a new vision for Cal Poly’s undergraduate science and mathematics academic and research program, Bill Frost worked closely with his longtime friend, College of Science and Mathematics Dean Phil Bailey. While designing the program, they concentrated on how to create the most positive and lasting impact on students. By enhancing undergraduate research experiences, the program will enrich students’ Cal Poly experience and make them top prospects for graduate schools and professional careers.

“I see this as an investment in the education and future successes of our science and mathematics students,” said Bill Frost. “I want this funding to be used to further enhance the Learn by Doing experiences that define Cal Poly and to provide students with research opportunities that will result in their presenting at regional, national and even international professional conferences and co-authoring publications with their faculty mentors in peer-reviewed journals.”

The Frosts are both CSU alumni. Bill Frost graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in biochemistry, and Linda Frost earned a degree in biology from San Jose State University.

The impact of the Frosts’ gift will reach beyond Cal Poly’s campus, said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

“Bill and Linda’s inspirational gift sets an example for other current and potential donors,” White said. “It highlights the crucial role private support plays in helping to maintain and enhance California’s public higher education system.”

Bailey, who is retiring in June after nearly 50 years as a professor and administrator at Cal Poly, said, “This gift represents a genuine desire by the Frosts to provide Cal Poly students with research experiences that promote intellectual growth fueled by curiosity, critical and creative thinking and personal initiative. Working with Bill on this project has been a highlight of my career.”

Photo information: Frost.jpg — The largest gift in California State University history is made to Cal Poly by alumnus Bill Frost and wife Linda. Pictured from left: College of Science and Mathematics Dean Phil Bailey, Linda Frost, Bill Frost, Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

Note to editors: Additional high-resolution photos of Wednesday’s event are available. Contact Media Relations Director Matt Lazier at 805-756-7109 or mlazier@calpoly.edu.

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Cal Poly Environmental Engineering Team Wins Innovation Award

May 04, 2017

A team of seven Cal Poly environmental engineering students won the Intel Environmental Innovation Award and $2,500 at the International Environmental Design Contest for their use of ion-exchange resins to filter metals out of storm water.

The competition, held April 5-7 in Las Cruces, N.M., was hosted by New Mexico State University and WERC, a consortium for environmental education and technology development.

“What helped us win was the practicality and usefulness of our design,” said junior Andrew Ledezma, team lead. “The client — the U.S. Navy — can simply attach our downspout extension to existing downspouts to prevent copper from exiting the base. “There being no modifications to the existing building; the safety and ease of implementation and maintenance; and cost effectiveness won us the prize.”

Other team members included seniors Hayley Aarsvold, Joelle Arakaki, Enrique Molina, and Gavi Orman; and freshmen Emely Coreas and Joey Velasquez.

Two other Cal Poly teams tackled challenges involving passive solar distillation of acid rock drainage waters and construction of remotely operated weather stations that measure renewable energy potential. Faculty advisor for the teams was Environmental Engineering Professor Tracy Thatcher. Seniors Andrew Kaneda and Nicholas Hardy served as student advisors.

A significant portion of the competition teams’ expenses were funded by the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) as a result of Hardy’s two summer internships there. The connections made by Hardy helped lead the way to a partnership between NAVFAC and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department that is providing environmental engineering students with ongoing opportunities to work on U.S. Navy engineering projects with professional engineers.

WERC’s International Environmental Design Contest is an annual event that brings industry, government and academia together in search of improved solutions to environmental challenges.

For more information, visit https://iee.nmsu.edu/.

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Photo: Back row, from left: Nicholas Hardy, Hayley Aarsvold, Enrique Molina, Joey Velasquez and Andrew Kaneda; front row, Gavi Orman, Andrew Ledezma, Emely Coreas and Joelle Arakaki. 

 


Cal Poly Scores Trifecta at Regionals

April 20, 2017

 

Cal Poly swept top honors at the annual Pacific Southwest Regional Conference (PSWC) held April 6-8 at UC Irvine in Irvine, Calif. The annual event was sponsored by the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers).

Led by its Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge and Environmental Competition teams, Cal Poly was a dominant force among 19 universities from Southern California, Southern Nevada, Hawaii and Arizona.

“This year, a change in rules precluded our painting the canoe or adding a new aggregate to the concrete,” said Ian Buchanan (San Diego), project manager of the Cal Poly Concrete Canoe team. “Our construction team created a beautiful canoe, nonetheless, by handcrafting the bulkheads and designs, while our mix design team create a concrete that’s less dense than water.”

In addition to Buchanan, a senior from San Diego, concrete canoe team members include mix design captains Jacky Mata (Oxnard, Calif.), Michael McMahon (Chico, Calif.), Amy Xu (Bakersfield, Calif.), Ashley Cruz (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Kyle Aube (Huntington Beach, Calif.), and construction captains Carson Burand (Pueblo, Colo.), Dillan Quigley (Orcutt, Calif.), Brandon Friedman (Porter Ranch, Calif.), Hailey Bond (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Jacky Loh (Azusa, Calif.) 

The Cal Poly team will compete in the Concrete Canoe National Competition, June 17-19, at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.

Cal Poly’s Steel Bridge Team project manager, senior Hannah Lancaster (Orange, Calif.), attributes the team’s win to an “amazing” combination of teamwork, workspace and legacy.

“Fabricating a bridge like ours would not have been possible without a space of our own in the Mechanical Engineering shops,” said Lancaster. “How well the bridge performed is truly a testimony to our outstanding team. Add to that the experience of returning team members and the high standards set by previous teams — and how could we not be inspired to succeed?”

In addition to Lancaster, the Steel Bridge senior captains included Matthew Ramos (Carmichael, Calif.), design lead; Stephen Hager (San Diego), fabrication lead; Jessica Ramirez (Union City, Calif.), machining lead; John Stern (Vacaville, Calif.), construction lead; and Jonathan Diaz (San Bruno, Calif.), software lead.

The Steel Bridge team will compete at the ASCE National Student Steel Bridge Competition on May 26-27 at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.

The Cal Poly Environmental Competition team prevailed in a competition that presented students with a hypothetical earthquake situation requiring their constructing a filter to treat contaminated water using only readily available household materials. PSWC team veterans Wyatt Andersen (Farmington, Utah), Kelly McGartland (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Mikel Sangroniz (Boise, Idaho) led team members Erik Mawn (Ship Bottom, N.J.), Sara Passantino (Westlake Village, Calif.), Sean Reece (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), and Sergio Vergara (Hayward, Calif.).

About ASCE

The American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. Founded in 1852, ASCE is the nation’s oldest engineering society. 

ASCE stands at the forefront of a profession that plans, designs, constructs, and operates society’s economic and social engine — the built environment — while protecting and restoring the natural environment.

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Pictured: Team paddlers, from left, are Dillan Quigley, Grace Melgard, Hailey Bond and Scott Kaufman.
Photo credit: Jacky Loh.

 

 

 


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