Jason Kuperberg ’18 on building communities and a culture of innovation
People and communities have always driven the success of Syracuse University alumnus Jason Kuperberg. Before graduating in 2018 with a major in biotechnology from the College of Arts and Sciences, Kuperberg belonged to the Syracuse Hillel and LaunchPad communities, both of which catapulted him in the unexpected direction of entrepreneurship.
From his experiences at Syracuse and the community he established within Hillel, Kuperberg quickly moved into the role of Springboard Innovation Fellow at Stanford University to launch his post-graduate life. Designing student experiences and partnering with students to build community using design-thinking, Kuperberg excelled and thrived in this role through the 2019-2020 academic year, along with his role as a Fellow in the Social Entrepreneurship Lab based out of the Stanford University School of Medicine.
While Kuperberg was working at Stanford University, Syracuse LaunchPad’s director Linda Dickerson Hartsock often visited the California Bay Area to meet with accomplished Syracuse alumni working in tech and business, and she brought Jason to SU alumni network gatherings in the Silicon Valley to share his experiences as a LaunchPad member. Kuperberg had been a very successful student entrepreneur at Syracuse – winning the campus Impact Prize and Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, as well as the campus Hult Prize competition and going on to the global regionals. He stayed in close contact with the LaunchPad after graduation, often mentoring other student startups and participating in programs and events. Hartsock asked Kuperberg to judge the LaunchPad’s Summer Startup Accelerator and, not yet knowing what she would create, connected Kuperberg with Matt Shumer and Miles Feldstein, two Whitman entrepreneurship students who were involved with the LaunchPad.
“Whenever I saw Linda, she would always update me on the exciting happenings of the LaunchPad. She always mentioned Visos, a medical VR venture which Matt and Miles were working on at the time. She encouraged us to meet, and she said she just knew we would work well together and create something great,” shares Kuperberg. “She wasn’t wrong.”
Serving as a judge at the LaunchPad’s annual summer accelerator pitch competition, Kuperberg evaluated a pitch by Feldstein while Shumer was observing in the Zoom event. When Shumer reached out to Kuperberg through the Zoom private chat, the magic finally happened.
“The next day the three of us had a meeting and it just took off from there,” shares Kuperberg, who is now a co-founder of OthersideAI, along with Shumer and Feldstein.
As a founding team member, Kuperberg and his business partners have a mission of making people more productive by automating monotonous tasks like sending emails in order to optimize time spent on more important and meaningful endeavors. Kuperberg has been personally onboarding each user of OthersideAI, in order to create a community and maintain constant dialogue with users.
“I want to establish a close relationship with each individual who is testing our product. I want them to feel as if they are part of our team, and that they can contact me whenever they have an issue or feedback,” says Kuperberg, whose focus on user-centricity has made a significant impact on the early success of the company.
When reflecting on what he misses most from his undergraduate experience at Syracuse University, Kuperberg says, “Without a doubt, it’s the people and my communities. Being able to walk into the LaunchPad or Hillel and seeing the people that I love and love me back can be so hard to find.” The communities catalyzed Kuperberg’s entrepreneurial development and paved a clear avenue for the young entrepreneur’s success through a mutual, unwavering loyalty that has been pumped through the veins of his relationships with these communities.
Amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Kuperberg is working virtually from his home in Rochester, NY while further developing the new company and community he is passionate about. In the meantime, he continues to pay it forward to the Syracuse University LaunchPad and Hillel communities, building on his passion while giving of his time and talent to inspire other young students and startups.
Story by LaunchPad Global Fellow Chris Appello ’21; photo supplied