The Cal Poly summer business accelerator, better known as the Hothouse, officially ended two weeks ago as each student startup pitched their business for Demo Day. You can watch the pitches via this Livestream link that was put on by BoostFunder.
I wrote a post after the first week of the Hothouse and it’s incredible to see the progress that has been made. Before I start bragging about the incredible businesses that are being created here, I want to thank the city of San Luis Obispo who gave us an office, the local businesses who donated time and money, and especially the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship who brought everyone together. The Hothouse was a group effort with the specific goal of making life as easy as possible for the startups – so we could focus and work our asses off. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
The office on Morro St., close to Downtown, where we worked all summer, is the coolest place ever. I loved coming to the office everyday and being surrounded by the other startups. Over the past several months friendships were made, nerf gun battles were staged, office equipment was stolen, and I have to say that after all of the crazy things that happened, I wouldn’t change a single moment of it. Luckily, the office will continue to be used by startups throughout the rest of the year.
Now it’s time to talk about the startups. We will be showing off the Hothouse teams at our first club meeting, but I want to give you a feel before everyone attends. First up to bat is NeighborFavor. Download their free app in the app store immediately, it will be on Android shortly. Ever had too many things going on at once and desperately needed a favor from a friend? NeighborFavor has made this tough process easy so that you never have to worry about finding someone to grab some groceries, deliver food to you, or pick you up from somewhere. The best thing about their new app is the super easy payment system. The NeighborFavor team hustled all summer, spending many nights in the Hothouse, coding until morning. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
The next startup I want to highlight is the newly named Quest.to! Previously known as GRAPPPLE (yes, with three P’s), this startup’s purpose is to help you accomplish all the goals you’ve been putting off over the years. The team came together for last year’s Startup Weekend SLO and has been killing it ever since. They will be releasing their beta for Poly students sometime during fall quarter, so keep an eye out for this site. As a side experiment, one of their programmers, Ross, created the website straightpimp.in. Yeah, this team is awesome.
ZeroPoint! This team started off the summer as Autonomous Surveyors, but their goal of building super cool robots blew up in their face during customer development. After several weeks of soul searching and repositioning, the team focused on some great new product ideas for the surveying industry. Zeropoint will be prototyping for several months before they move forward.
Repairtech. This is the startup that I would bet my money on for reaching the highest revenue within the next year. The Repairtech team has built an automated system that repairs all of your computer’s problems with ONE click, which they plan to sell to IT Repair shops around the world. The product will be ready for market very soon and then they will be making it rain all over SLO from there.
Speaking of Making it Rain, the 3D mobile gaming startup team called Fireswing are building fun, addicting games with graphics never before seen within the industry. This incredibly hardworking team has already released an awesome product titled Flow this summer. Their goal is to continue to amaze consumers with their high quality graphics. Personally, I can’t wait to play their upcoming release.
Tributari is aiming to shake up the Internet. The team is filled with incredibly hard working members who have made the commitment to avoid sacrificing quality no matter what the costs are. Their site is aiming to create a space where communities can gather together to communicate and effectively gather the best information for any subject. Their beta will be releasing soon for the entrepreneurship community at Cal Poly so try it out!
Last but not least is the startup I joined at the beginning of summer, Genicell. Our team had a slightly different work schedule than all of the other tech teams in the Hothouse, meaning it was a surprise to some when the whole team was all in one place. Nevertheless, we are in great position moving forward. We built the 2nd generation of our prototype and have secured lab space in the Bay Area to start building a suite of data to validate our system. We are really excited to take the next step!
Overall, the experience of participating in the Hothouse was one I will never forget. I can’t wait to see what everyone does next. What gets me even more excited is the teams who will get to go through the Hothouse next year. Get started on a cool idea, get a team together, and hustle. Nothing is preventing you from having the same amazing experience we all just went through.
See you all at the 1st CPE meeting Sept 26th at 6:30 pm in the Entrepreneurship lab rm 133 bd 38.