At the Tech Pitch competition held last October, a local SLO firm, LiftGator, took first prize. 805connect talked with Cal Poly alum and LiftGator CEO, Justin Russo, to learn about the company. Justin is incubating the business at the SLO Hothouse (an 805connect partner) in downtown San Luis Obispo and is optimistic about the it’s potential. Watch this short clip to learn more about how the LiftGator works. Justin and his partner Marty Affentranger saw a need to simplify loading heavy items into trucks. They built several prototypes before settling on the final design. When you look around their office (inside the SLO Hothouse) you see drawings, sales projections and a copy of the check they won at the competition. Justin said in a post event interview with KCBX that “Business is all about connections”. He was sitting front and center at last week’s Coffee and Conversation where Mark Sylvester, 805connect’s Ambassador, taught about Making Relevant Connections. Mark talked about how connections are at the heart of what 805connect is trying to accomplish. LiftGator is an example of the diversity of innovation in the region and the pockets of new ideas that are sprouting up all over. Justin says that he’s inspired by TEDTalks and says this one by David Rose is one of his favorites.