Congratulations to two LaunchPad alumni for winning special awards from Whitman’s program in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, as part of the recent Panasci Business Plan Competition. The awards are presented annually as part of signature event. This year the Whitman Young Alumni Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award went to Jason Kuperberg, ’18, (Arts and Sciences and Whitman) and the Whitman Dedication to Entrepreneurship Award went to Sam Hollander ’21 (Whitman and Newhouse).
Kuperberg, co-founder of OthersideAI, won the Hult Prize, Impact Prize, and Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award as an undergraduate. OthersideAI was created during a LaunchPad summer accelerator program, combining the superpowers of former Whitman students Matt Shumer and Miles Feldstein, with Kuperberg mentoring and then joining the team. Together they have recently raised close to $3 million to grow the venture.
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.
From there he met Shumer and Feldstein as they were ideating OthersideAI, and joined as co-founder, where he leads growth, marketing and operations.
Kuperberg was nominated for the Young Alumni Excellence Award by the LaunchPad where he was an active member as a student and remains engaged as a LaunchPad mentor. He frequently judges campus competitions, hosts Fireside Chats, has hired Whitman students as contract employees, and regularly hosts alumni events for the LaunchPad in the San Francisco and Los Angeles area where he is based.
Hollander was also nominated by the LaunchPad for the award. Hollander is program manager at the LaunchPad and was one of the top campus business plan competition winners in recent years. A successful serial entrepreneur, he is founder of ShareClub.
Hollander was last year’s winner of the Panasci competition and the recipient of the Gilded Social Rising Entrepreneur Award. The high-achieving dual Whitman and Newhouse graduate was active in building the LaunchPad at Syracuse University. He was a student team member throughout his college career, serving as a Blackstone Global Fellow, Rubin Family Innovation Mentor and LaunchPad Orange Ambassador.
He was selected as a first-year student to participate in Techstars Startup Weekend UCLA – a national honor – and then worked with the Syracuse LaunchPad to create and manage the first ever sold-out LaunchPad Syracuse University Techstars Weekend, attended by more than 200 students. Participated in the first ever Techstars Startup Weekend USA – COVID 19 Innovation and won the distinction as one of the top ten teams in the east, and national event finalist.
He was selected by the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Techstars and Future Founders for a prestigious national LaunchPad fellowship, which is a highly competitive program that selects top student entrepreneurs in the country for a 15-week accelerator.
As a student, he was the winner of number campus business competitions, including the top prize in the 2021 Panasci Business Plan Competition, top prize at the RvD iPrize, top contestant at the NYS Business Plan Competition, as well as top placement in numerous other campus events. He was also the winner of the Syracuse University Hunter Brooks Watson Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award.
He leads programs at the LaunchPad that include an alumni and peer mentoring network and helps plan and execute flagship programs for the university’s innovation center.