April 27, 2016

Contact: Candice Conti

Entrepreneurship Forum to Focus on Crossing the Chasm on May 11 at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Entrepreneurial efforts to help startups bridge the gap between early adopters and mainstream consumers will be the focus of the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s (CIE) next forum from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, in the Performing Arts Center Pavilion.

During the P.E.N. (Pitches, Exhibits, Networking) portion of the evening, from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m., the 2016 SLO HotHouse Accelerator companies will be revealed followed by the “Business Card Hustle,” a game in which an accelerator company competes for resources by collecting as many business cards from attendees.

The evening’s panel discussion will address the challenges startups face in moving a product, service or technology from the early adopter stage to a larger, majority market segment. Panelists include Ian Alexander, CEO and co-founder of RepairTech; Lori Jordan, student innovation programs manager for CIE; Jeff Witous, CEO, Teqspring Inc.; and Lucia Cleveland, founder, The Spice Hunter. Attendees may submit questions via Twitter for the panelists to discuss.

“The most successful startups find a way to translate early success into a sustainable business model,” said Tod Nelson, CIE executive director. “At the CIE, we strive to equip students and community members with the resources they need to succeed.”

Community members interested in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation at Cal Poly can become Pioneer Pass Holders with a pledge of $100. The annual pass gives members expedited registration and access to special industry events.

The May 11 forum is free and open to the public; advance registration is required. For more information and to register, go to

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunity to Cal Poly students and faculty members and promotes entrepreneurial activity, scholarship and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo County.

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.
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