Cal Poly Program Attracts Tech Startup to San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly packaging students work with the Specright team at their office in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business has teamed up with Specright LLC, a packaging specification management startup based in Irvine, Calif., to offer part-time work year round to Cal Poly packaging students.

The company opened a new office in San Luis Obispo to be closer to Cal Poly’s industrial technology and packaging programs. Specright hired 15 Cal Poly students as packaging engineers this month.

“We have been unbelievably impressed with the maturity and professionalism of Cal Poly students and the skills they have,” said Brett Hall, Specright’s vice president of product development. “They can come in and immediately make a contribution. We’re thrilled with the partnership.”

The students will offer reverse engineer packaging services and create specification files for manufacturing needs. Employees will then catalog the specifications into Specright’s proprietary software platform to give clients and suppliers access to reliable, consistent data. The company’s enterprise-neutral, cloud-based model aims to save money, time and redundancy for packaging clients in a variety of industries.

“I am hoping this job experience helps improve my skills and lets me build relationships in the industry ­– because in packaging, everyone knows everyone,” said Cal Poly business senior Jacob McKinney.

Specright also hired Victor Sanchez, who recently graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in industrial technology and a minor in packaging, as a full-time engineering supervisor to manage the part-time team. He led the cohort through a training program on Specright’s software and immediate projects. “I’m excited to see Specright grow and to see our progress. I want to make each Cal Poly student we hire better than I am,” he said.

While Cal Poly will be a source of packaging engineers for Specright, the startup will in turn work with faculty to evolve curriculum and packaging best practices in a variety of industries. “We look to the university for advice,” Specright’s Hall said. “Cal Poly is a cornerstone in the packaging world, and it can help us anticipate how the industry is moving for better strategy. It’s a win-win.”

Specright is expanding and building relationships with companies throughout California and the U.S. in packaging and other disciplines. Cal Poly students are working on projects in the produce and industrial sectors for Specright clients. According to company spokesperson Adam Fugate, the company is already expanding to include more manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, and packaging commodities clients.

“In my mind, this is the hallmark of our career-readiness efforts in our program,” said Jay Singh, Cal Poly’s Packaging Program director. “Our graduates have gained such a strong reputation in the industry that the demand itself is attracting businesses here. I’m thrilled to see the potential for more collaboration with Specright in the years to come.”

For more information on Specright, visit