As an 11-year-old, Miles Feldstein, ’23, built his first website, selling lacrosse equipment internationally. Over the next few years, he built upon his skills and published multiple iOS apps, including a GPA calculator he made in high school. In total, his apps garnered over 10,000 downloads, setting the groundwork for future entrepreneurial pursuits. He then started designing marketing materials, merchandise, and websites for small clothing brands, and within a few months he graduated to designing for Grammy nominated artists.
“One day I just started researching how to make apps, and it took off from there. That’s when I first started learning how to code,” he said. “I learned from watching YouTube videos, almost exclusively.”
Feldstein is now a Syracuse University sophomore studying Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises in the Whitman School of Management, along with Information Management and Technology in the iSchool. This summer he co-founded OthersideAI with Matt Shumer and Jason Kuperberg, and the team recently closed on a major investment after just three months of development. OthersideAI is a software that utilizes artificial intelligence to instantly compose full-length emails using key points supplied by the author. The company aims to revolutionize the way professionals communicate by cutting the time spent emailing in more than half. They are currently onboarding around 20 new users each week and demand is rising, as demonstrated by the thousands on their waitlist, said Feldstein.
OthersideAI is not the first company Feldstein has worked on during his time at Syracuse. Over the last academic year Feldstein worked closely with Matt Shumer to develop Visos, a virtual reality product for the medical industry. In the three weeks before COVID-19 sent everyone on campus packing, Feldstein remembers spending endless hours in the Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library working on the product.
“The people at the LaunchPad match your energy,” said Feldstein. “Even when you are crashing, the energy from everyone else keeps you going.” Feldstein remembers these weeks fondly as some of his most productive and memorable times at Syracuse, thanks to the LaunchPad.
But the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic inhibited plans to launch Visos in the market, when all health care industry expenditures were suddenly directed to responding to the pandemic, including acquiring PPE, investing in sophisticated testing equipment and ventilators, upgrading air handling and HVAC systems, and adding capacity to ICU and ER units. Medical VR quickly took a back seat to pandemic response.
While they hit pause on Visos, they went right to work on another idea that they had been exploring, and on July 1 Feldstein and Shumer founded OthersideAI. A few days later they tweeted a demo of what would shape the future of OthersideAI – a tweet that was seen millions of times and captured the attention of industry leaders.
“I knew from that second we were onto something huge,” said Feldstein, “and that we were going to be the ones to build it.”
The pair worked throughout the LaunchPad’s Summer Accelerator to build the product and pitched an early version to a panel that included Jason Kuperberg, a 2018 Whitman alumnus. Kuperberg’s user centric approach made him an important addition to the team, Feldstein said.
Feldstein said the group works great together, and they have relied on help from Linda Hartsock, the executive director of the LaunchPad, among an accomplished supporting cast of advisors.
“Linda has been really supportive in this whole process, and I have her to thank for much of this,” said Feldstein.
The team and support system that OthersideAI has developed is one of the most important parts, he said. If Feldstein could go back and talk to his 11-year-old self, he would offer one piece of advice.
“Go out, create, and find people who are building things.”
Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied by Miles Feldstein