Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) introduced the newest students accepted into their 13-week Summer Accelerator program in the HotHouse at its annual Spring Entrepreneurship Forum Tuesday, May 14.
Students pitched business ideas ranging from medicinal makeup to a transportable water filter for travelers.
Seven potential businesses — Armadillo Designs, Tulum Cosmetics, Ethic Marketplace, Ropegun, Totem, Tunmi Da Silva Designs and Wayve Filtration — were accepted into the Accelerator program for Summer 2019.
Who they are and what they do
Armadillo Designs is working to create the “All-Access Camper” — a customizable shell with convertible roof built for truck beds. Armadillo Designs was created by manufacturing engineering sophomore Samuel Hunt and business administration sophomore Bradley Bowman.
Tulum Cosmetics seeks to create products that integrate makeup with medical treatment to “heal and conceal” one’s skin. Tulum is a matte liquid lipstick that assists in healing and concealing cold sores. It was created by business administration senior Emily Penuen and art and design sophomore Megan Steiger.
Ethic Marketplace is a sustainable online marketplace platform that aims to encourage conscious consumerism. It was created by liberal arts and engineering studies senior Garrett Perkins and architecture sophomore Jess Corr.
Ropegun tracks and guides routes for climbers, and also doubles as a social media platform for the climbing community. It was created by graphic communications senior Joseph Sobrero and mechanical engineering senior Nathaniel Furbeyre.
Totem aims to produce an “augmented reality festival experience” platform to elevate the festival experience for both attendees and festival organizer. Totem was created by business administration seniors Tal Kornfeld and Remi Crosetti, along with mechanical engineering senior Morgan Buss.
Tunmi Da Silva Designs features custom furniture created by architecture graduate Tunmi Da Silva. These pieces seek to enable conversation rather than just provide functionality.
Wayve Filtration is a portable water filter, attachable to any sink or faucet, created as a solution for obtaining clean water on the go. It was created by business administration senior Sierra Scolaro, mechanical engineering junior Zachary Pollatsek and industrial engineering senior Jonah Heath.
What’s next for these start-ups?
The teams will receive $10,000 in seed funding to help them get started, work with specialized mentors and attend weekly workshops.
“[The goal is] hopefully creating a company that provides customers with a catalog of additional parts they can build off of their camper shell and just trying to create a more complete aftermarket truck accessory,” co-founder of Armadillo Designs Samuel Hunt said.
Each company participated in a Pitches, Exhibits, Networking (P.E.N.) portion of the event, allowing them to introduce themselves and their missions before competing to collect the most business cards from attendees.
Cal Poly alumnus and two-time pole vault Olympian for Australia Simon Arkell spoke at the forum. As the president and co-founder of the artificial intelligence (AI) company Deep Lens, Arkell spoke to attendees about the event’s theme, “Artificial Intelligence is the Future.”
“‘AI’ is the biggest buzz word that we’ve seen in years,” Arkell said. “Before that it was ‘Big Data’ and before that it was ‘Dot Com,’ maybe. You can basically have a computer do anything and you could call it AI … so really understanding what AI truly is and what it is not I think is important.”
Deep Lens seeks to find solutions to cancer through AI. The mission of the company resonates personally with the co-founders of the company, each having their lives touched by cancer in some way, Arkell said.
According to CIE communications and marketing director Candice Conti, the theme for the forum was chosen based on what the CIE found to be most relevant for young innovators.
Editor’s note: This article has been edited to reflect that Tulum is not FDA approved and there are only three members of the Totem team.