For Immediate Release
May 4, 2017

Contact: Candice Conti

Cal Poly Hosts Entrepreneurship Forum Focused on Growing a Business in San Luis Obispo May 15

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) will host a panel of entrepreneurs at the “Keepin’ it SLOCAL” forum Monday, May 15, in the Performing Arts Center on campus.

The theme of the spring entrepreneurship forum, which is free and open to the public, is the value of keeping and growing a company in San Luis Obispo and learning about all the resources available. The forum will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The evening’s panel discussion will focus on what it takes to start and grow a successful company in San Luis Obispo County. Panelists include Eric Adler, CEO of Flume Inc., a SLO HotHouse Incubator startup that is developing an intelligent leak detection and water management system for the entire home; Jen Melton, founder of Cloud Star, a company started in San Luis Obispo and sold that specializes in healthy food for pets; Martha Van Inwegen, founder of Life Elements Inc., an Atascadero-based corporation that manufactures and sells natural performance body care; and Lisa Leonard, founder and creative director of Lisa Leonard Designs, a San Luis Obispo-based online handmade jewelry business. The panelists will share their expertise in entrepreneurship and discuss how San Luis Obispo’s unique culture can create many benefits for a startup. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask them questions.

“Our forum series are both social and educational,” said Tod Nelson, CIE executive director. “The environment is one that fosters information exchange and collaboration. Attendees will learn how they can benefit from all the startup resources available through CIE.”

During the P.E.N. (Pitches, Exhibits, Networking) portion of the evening, from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m., the 2017 SLO HotHouse Accelerator companies will be introduced, followed by the “Business Card Hustle,” a game in which an accelerator company competes for resources by collecting as many business cards from attendees.

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 a member expedited registration and access to special industry events.

Advance registration is required. For more details and to register, visit

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 to

About the SLO HotHouse
The SLO HotHouse is a community space created through the efforts of Cal Poly and 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

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