Student sues Cal Poly over seed money

An agricultural education student has sued the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Cal Poly Corporation in small claims court over $10,000 in disputed seed money, half of which he claims belongs to him. [Tribune]

Over the summer, Leonel “Leo” S. Farias joined the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s HotHouse as part of a three-man team working on “LocalzOwn,” a platform for selling local artisan food products. The other members of his team were biomedical engineering student Joseph “Joey” Lyman and computer engineering student Michael Fekadu.

Fekadu dropped out of the program for undisclosed reasons, leaving Farias and Lyman to complete the project, according to the claim. Farias says, as a result, the $10,000 his team was due to receive should have been split evenly between himself and Lyman.

Farias says the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship refused to pay them the money.

Lyman is not a party to the lawsuit.

The HotHouse Accelerator Membership Agreement stated each team would receive a $10,000 investment paid in two equal installments over the summer. The money would be paid as long as the accelerator team complied with its agreement.

It is unclear if any of the money was paid out or whether the agreement was amended because a team member dropping out. Cal Poly’s initial response to the lawsuit was that the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship leaves it to HotHouse teams to decide how to split the funding among themselves.