Patrick Linehan

LaunchPad team to launch podcast this semester

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The Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars is launching a podcast series this semester called The Commute to Class.

The podcast, which resulted from months of brainstorming amongst the team of LaunchPad Global Fellows, is being headed by Patrick Linehan, a senior newspaper and online journalism major.

The Commute to Class will be targeted towards entrepreneurial-minded college students needing a burst of inspiration or motivation in their daily commute to class. Produced in short, 12-to-15-minute episodes, the podcast is perfect for those needing an extra jump start to their day. Each episode will feature an alum of Syracuse University who went on to start a successful venture. They will talk about what motivates them, and how they find ways to keep creating in hard times and in the face of failure.

The creation of this podcast has truly been a team effort. Global Fellow Sloane Sexton, ’21, designed the logo and word mark for the podcast. Nick Barba, ’20, the project management consultant, helped schedule interviews for the episodes. Connor Johnson, ’22, created the theme music for the intro and outro. Linda Hartsock, executive director of the LaunchPad, helped curate the list of guests for this semester.

Nine total episodes will be published for this season of The Commute to Class, including an introduction episode. Be sure to catch the first episodes which will be published toward the end of February.

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; graphic by Sloane Sexton, Launchpad Global Fellow (@sloanesextondesign).

Cassie Cavallaro ’21 on turning skills into freelancing and a career path

headshot of a person smiling

As the world was sent into a spiral last March, Cassie Cavallaro found herself homeless due to unfortunate family circumstances. She was living in her friend’s storage room. Simultaneously, the Dunkin Donuts location she manages was cutting hours, slashing her source of income. So, she turned toward her best skill and passion: illustration.

She spent the last of her bank account on equipment she needed and started putting her work out on freelancing websites like and Upwork. Soon after that, she booked her first paid job.

“In the beginning, I felt full throttle fear,” said Cavallaro. “I was taking the last couple hundred dollars in my bank account and trusting that this job was going to follow through. And trust I’d make the money back and then some.”

Cassie Cavallaro’s illustration work

Cavallaro, who plans to graduate from Syracuse University in May with a bachelor’s degree in Illustration, has been freelancing ever since, netting over $10,000 in her first quarter. She has developed relationships with many clients, built a website and broadened her network online. She worked 80 hour weeks over the past year to turn freelance illustration into a self-sustaining job. Throughout, she continued to manage her Dunkin Donuts store while keeping up with full-time coursework.

“Becoming homeless and having to crawl your way back up from the very depths of darkness,” Cavallaro said, “I think it changes a person.”

It can be very intimidating to start off as a freelancer, said Cavallaro. Putting work out there to be critiqued and analyzed is scary. But she has one piece of advice: just go for it.

“If you don’t put what you have out there, you can’t see how the market will react to it,” she said.

Freelancing takes a lot of planning, said Cavallaro. At the beginning, she would take whatever job came her way with no long-term goals in mind. She found herself floundering with too many competing projects. This semester she is focusing on getting plenty of sleep while developing her portfolio. And she thinks about where she wants her freelance work to take her, the world of children’s book publishing and art licensing.

She is also in the process of finding an agent or business partner to help make connections in that industry. The creativity in children inspires the young illustrator and businesswoman, driving her towards that profession.

“To take a child’s imagination and reinvent it and transpose it, I think it is possible to remember what it’s like to be a child,” she said. “To not be afraid to create, to forgive, and to look forward to conquering tomorrow.”

 Cassie is launching a newsletter February 1, which will extrapolate on her creative process and share her illustrations. You can sign up for it through her website.

Interested in becoming Cassie’s agent/business partner? Reach out to her at:

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo and illustration supplied by Cassie Cavallaro

Patrick Linehan ’21 and Zain Elwakil ’21 collaborate on music video for student band NONEWFRIENDS

two digital content creators at laptops with video and sound equipment
Patrick Linehan (left) and Zain Elwakil (right) at work on the music video

A partnership forged at the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Bird Library took to the streets of New York City over winter break to film a music video for the student band NONEWFRIENDS.  From hanging out in the back of a Volkswagen as it cruised down Park Avenue at 3:00 a.m. to film the band, to setting up a large white backdrop in the middle of a small side street in the West Village at 5:00 a.m. to catch the sunrise light, the project was an adventure in creativity.

Zain and I (Patrick) were videographers for the shoot, which took place at four different locations throughout the city over the course of three days in December. We worked with a lighting duo to get just the right hue and intensity for each shot, particularly outdoor scenes in the chilly winter air.

One location was one of the oldest bars in New York, The Ear Inn, which was closed due to COVID-19.

The video, which was months in the making and involved a team of 15 people, will be released this summer with the band’s current project.

Zain and I met this fall as two new members of the LaunchPad student team. Zain was brought on as an Orange Ambassador for special creative projects and I started as a Global Media Fellow working on digital content for the LaunchPad.

As soon as we met, we appreciated each other’s work and consistently talked film making and creative pursuits. This video presented the perfect opportunity to collaborate on a project.

I reached out to Zain in October to see if he would be interested, and he agreed. Zain has been working on a series of creative spotlights for the LaunchPad, and his skills are highly sought after throughout campus. I have been connected with NONEWFRIENDS for two years, and I have filmed music videos for them before.

As soon as Zain and I talked with director and band member Jackson Siporin we knew the team would work wonders. We had several meetings throughout the month of November, planning logistics and creative direction, including how to abide by all of New York City’s COVID-19 regulations. We collaborated with friends with expertise in lighting, production and music. We watched hours of music videos for inspiration, dissecting shots and reverse engineering them. 

When the week came to film, we were fully prepared, except for the weather. A major snowstorm rocked New York on the day we planned to film, so we had to switch up the shoot and think on our feet. In the end, we were able to complete the vision.

Zain is currently editing the video together to be released after the spring semester.

The LaunchPad helps make these kinds of connections possible through a community of like-minded people who are passionate about creativity. Those connections and creative teamwork were central to the project’s success.

Story by Patrick Linehan ’21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied.

Murray Lebovitz ’23 is making coffee more accessible

Student in a suit looking at the camera

When COVID-19 sent all Syracuse students packing last March, then freshman Murray Lebovitz started recording and sharing his morning ritual: making a cup of coffee. Using the coffee equipment in his Chattanooga, Tenn. home, Lebovitz discussed in these videos his process of grinding the beans, heating the water and eventually brewing the coffee. He would then review his own work.

His followers enjoyed the content, and he quickly realized the opportunity he had. At the time social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram were abuzz with do-it-yourself projects, recipes and life-hacks. He could help usher that DIY content to the coffee world.

So, he started an Instagram page, Keep Coffee Casual. In launching the Instagram account, he hopes to make the world of coffee more accessible. At the moment, price and culture barriers lock out many people from enjoying delicious coffee, said Lebovitz. There is also the problem of sourcing, which has long disenfranchised coffee growers in tropical, predominately poorer countries.

Lebovitz, currently a one-man team, is on a mission to challenge these issues in the coffee enthusiast community. Now a sophomore, he is an undeclared student in Whitman, but he hopes to study Supply Chain Management and Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises. This past fall he competed in four Blackstone Launchpad & Techstars competitions, developing his pitch and presentation delivery each time.  

He did all this while starting to sell his own cold brew coffee, developing a content strategy and growing his following on Instagram.    

“I feel really great being able to represent coffee,” said Lebovitz. “It’s that luxury item that people don’t really talk about.”

While he wasn’t able physically work out of the LaunchPad & Techstars hub in Bird Library this past fall due to COVID-19 restrictions, he participated in many coaching sessions with staff and LaunchPad peer mentors. Lebovitz says that the LaunchPad has been instrumental in his motivation to keep pushing forward. The competitions and mentorship have allowed him to keep refining his idea, developing his value proposition and pitching Keep Coffee Casual.

He is now looking to build out his team with other coffee enthusiasts who bring a variety of skill sets to bringing his idea to life.

Lebovitz has been connecting with coffee professionals in Syracuse to start creating this inclusive coffee community he set out to create. He has begun conversations with Café owners, roasters and enthusiasts to understand their needs.

Lebovitz is committed to bringing coffee into the homes of a wider, more inclusive swath of people. His most important piece of advice? Buy local.

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied by Murray Lebovitz.

Be part of it! Keep Coffee Casual is creating access to the future of coffee. Build modern coffee culture through sustainability, inclusion, and creativity. Great coffee is just around the corner and the team wants to brew it with you! Keep Coffee Casual is currently looking to expand the team with students passionate about coffee. Coffee brews creativity within us in each sip and Keep Coffee Casual is looking for students who want to explore what makes you unique. Roles include social media coordinator, web designer and photographer/videographer. If you love coffee and want to be part of the team drop Lebovitz a line at

Ricardo Sanchez ’21 on designing with empathy to make an impact

Buying new soccer cleats was Ricardo Sanchez’s yearly ritual throughout high school. An avid player, Sanchez started to research the design of the newest footwear models. He remembers watching a YouTube video that explained the different design decisions of the pair he was using at the time. That is when his love for design started.

“I want to work on projects with an impact,” he said. “At the end of the day, I want to contribute to someone else’s day.”

Years later, Sanchez is working on a mentorship program for college and high school students with intellectual and physical disabilities. He pitched his idea in the Blackstone LaunchPad’s $15,000 Impact Prize Competition this November. He is a 5th year VPA Industrial and Interaction Design major and also co-founder of a startup that won the American Heart Association’s $50,000 EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator Competition last year. He is also working on a thesis researching the living communities of migrant and seasonal farm workers.

Sanchez said all of these projects are tied together with one goal in mind: making an impact.

In order to make that impact, Sanchez says empathy is key.

“Anyone can be a designer, as long as you can put yourself in the shoes of who you are designing for,” he said.

In the summer of 2019, Sanchez was a part of Invent@SU, a six-week intensive program in ideation, prototyping and presenting a product. On the second day without an idea he noticed his partner, Russell Fearon, going through the steps to take his blood sugar before lunch. Fearon had been diagnosed with diabetes a few years prior. He started asking questions about the process, and realized it was very cumbersome.

So, the two set out to make it streamlined by inventing a smart watch with the capability to check blood sugar levels. They did not win the Invent@SU competition, but a few months later they took home over $50,000 from the American Heart Association for their idea, SugEx.

Sanchez built empathy again more recently as one of the first students to participate in a new Intelligence ++ Inclusive Entrepreneurship program. The interdisciplinary program is focused on inclusive entrepreneurship and design, and is being offered for the 2020-21 academic year through a partnership of the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries, the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education (InclusiveU) and the  College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) through a generous donation by Gianfranco Zaccai ’70 H’09 and the Zaccai Foundation for Augmented Intelligence (Intelligence++). The program offers new innovation courses and culminates in a spring design and entrepreneurship competition with $30,000 in prizes.

Tasked with designing a solution that would help those with disabilities and their families and support networks, Sanchez set up a tag along with a member of InclusiveU, a program for Syracuse students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  By talking to those students one-on-one and in group settings, Sanchez began to understand their needs and desires. That was when the idea was hatched to create a program between InclusiveU students and high schoolers with disabilities in Syracuse to create a network of role models and mentors who could support each other and also encourage young people to think about college pathways as personal and professional options. He presented his idea at this year’s Impact Prize Competition at the LaunchPad and received great feedback from judges who are professionals in the design and accessibility community.

By taking the time to understand his target audience, Sanchez focuses on designing with empathy and a deeper understanding of approaching problems and solutions.  Sanchez uses that mindset in every idea, researching and understanding his user before brainstorming. He avoids making any assumptions about his target audience.

“You can have an idea, but at the end of the day it’s not for you,” he said. “It’s for someone else.”

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied by Ricardo Sanchez.

Miles Feldstein ’23 on product and building a team

young man in front of a glass wall

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

Kelly Davis ’23 on growing an online following

When Kelly Davis ’23 wasn’t shooting arrows with a bow, she was shooting video with a camera. In high school Davis was a nationally competitive archer, and she liked to take her camera to every tournament, producing content for archery companies and organizations.

“I’ve always had that freelance mindset,” Davis said.

Now a sophomore studying marketing, entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises, as well as television radio and film, Davis has taken her freelance skills to the startup world. She is now the chief marketing officer of Thinc-Hub, a one stop platform for entrepreneurs starting their own business. Thinc-Hub is a company forming out of Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University that allows entrepreneurs to connect, ask for help, form a team and brainstorm ideas.

As CMO, Davis is growing Thinc-Hub’s social media following, starting a newsletter and coming up with the company’s marketing strategy. She is making sure that the company is ready to market their product once they release it. 

Davis is also the new Syracuse Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars communications manager.  In that role she oversees outreach communications at the LaunchPad, including the popular weekly newsletter, Startup Thinking.  She is also helping grow the following on social media and increase website click rates, and she will also be producing short digital video content for the LaunchPad.

Davis discovered Thinc-Hub this summer as internship opportunities dried up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. She found the position on Handshake, applied, interviewed and knew immediately that this was the company for her. She instantly clicked with ThinkHub’s founder, Patrick Prioletti, a LaunchPad Rubin Family Innovation Mentor, and she got started right away.

To grow a social media following, the key is to use hashtags, Davis said. Each hashtag has a following, and growth hackers should use some that are broad and also some that are specific. This will appeal to the widest audience. Davis also says that is important to post four to five times a week, because that will keep the followership interested. She also suggested telling other people’s stories on social media.

“People like to see other people,” Davis said.

As she works to grow following for Thinc-Hub, Davis said she has moments all the time where she doubts herself. She asks herself, “Is this going to work?” and “Is this sustainable?” But, she always reminds herself of the dream, that Thinc-Hub will blow up in the coming years. And she recalls her passion, helping others to succeed.

One of the people helping her through that process is Elizabeth Wimer, a faculty member in Whitman. Davis stressed the importance of finding a mentor who challenges her. “She continuously pushes me,” Davis said.

From archery competitions to startup competitions, Davis brings her entrepreneurial spirit to everything she does.

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied by Kelly Davis

Ben Goldsmith ’21 grew a company out of a dorm room idea

student in a blue POPCYCLE brand shirt

Ben Goldsmith ‘21, a VPA Communication and Rhetorical Studies (CRS) major and co-founder of POPCYCLE, remembers the feeling he had after his company’s first ever student-brand clothing popup.

“It felt like we were soldiers coming home from a battle we had just won,” he said.

The pop-up, located inside of the Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars in Bird Library, featured clothes made by students at Syracuse University. Goldsmith says that more than 4,000 people came to shop around that day. By the end, Goldsmith said he and his team were in pain, tired, aching, but smiling at their fullest.

That day was proof his idea could work, an idea first concocted months earlier. Goldsmith is one of the hundreds of student entrepreneurs that have leveraged the expertise and other resources at the LaunchPad to grow his business. POPCYCLE launched their website this September with huge success.

Goldsmith has always been a project leader. Growing up in Cherry Hill, N.J., Goldsmith started a program to broadcast all of his high school’s sports games. He would bring a phone and a tripod to the games and stream it to the world, getting around 6,000 viewers in the process.

“That was my first chance to be a leader,” Goldsmith said. “I got to bring something to a whole new level with just my passion.”

When he made it to college, he decided to major in communication and rhetorical studies and creative writing. Throughout his years, he met so many students with their own clothing brands creating great clothes. But he also noticed that many of them lacked access to physical stores and were stuck in the same cycle of trying to sell on Instagram.

So, he asked himself, “How can I help?”

Sitting in his dorm room, he started to ferociously plan.

“I knew what could happen if I had this idea and took it seriously,” he said.

His first step was to begin meeting with brands. One of his first sessions was with Jackson Ensley, who he discovered shared his passion and entrepreneurial spirit. Goldsmith said the conversation quickly shifted from a client conversation to that of a partner.

The two set out to make POPCYLCE what it is today. They gathered faculty advisors, experts from the Whitman School of Management and Fashion Design department in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Goldsmith said Linda Hartsock, executive director of the LaunchPad helped connect them with people they needed to execute their concept.

“Go to someone who is smarter than you,” Goldsmith said as advice to others trying to start a business.

Since that first meeting, POPCYLCE has hosted two student clothing pop-ups, started a website, and grown a team around the vision.

Their biggest hurdle, Goldsmith said, is explaining their idea. He says he has to alter how he explains it based on who he talks to. Explaining POPCYCLE to designers looks very different than explaining it to investors, Goldsmith added.

POPCYCLE is only going to grow, Goldsmith said. They plan to expand to other colleges in the next couple of years and beyond, with a lofty goal to help student-owned clothing brands market their clothes to the world.

Story by LaunchPad Global Fellow Patrick Linehan ’21; photo by the LaunchPad

Season Chowdhury ’23 on building your network and a tech startup

student against purple lighting

Season Chowdhury ’23 worked into the early morning for five days during his sophomore year of high school to finish a website he was building for a mock client. The site was for a made-up juice company and Chowdhury wanted it to be the best in a competition run by America on Tech, a technology career pathway company founded by two Syracuse University alumni.

“In my mind it’s like a mission,” said Chowdhury, now a sophomore Engineering and Computer Science major. “It was the first time I really found my interest in computer science.”

He ended up winning third place in that competition. Four year later, he is bringing his skills to the Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars at Syracuse University as an Orange Ambassador. This academic year he will work to support outreach and engagement with entrepreneurial students across campus. Eleven Orange Ambassador positions were funded for the 2020 – 2021 year through a generous contribution to SU Libraries by Todd R. Rubin ’04 (School of Architecture), Minister of Evolution and President of The Republic of Tea.

Chowdbury was first introduced to the LaunchPad through a LinkedIn post. This March, he and a few friends had an idea about a tech startup focused on sports recruiting so they reached out to an advisor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science in July. The advisor put out a post looking for resources on LinkedIn, where someone recommended the LaunchPad. After a pitch to Linda Hartsock at the LaunchPad, the team was filled with energy.

“She really liked our idea,” said Chowdhury. “That gave us a big confidence boost.”  Since then, Chowdhury and his team have been busy working to develop their application, recruit a team, perform research, and even learn new coding languages.

They have accessed the pool of talent and expertise in the LaunchPad by reaching out to other students who have founded their own companies like Patrick Prioletti, a Rubin Family Innovation Mentor. These mentors serve as peer advisors to a portfolio of student startups, coaching them on strategy and venture development. Chowdhury said that Prioletti helped them with databases and provided new contacts. With each meeting, Chowdhury says his support system gets bigger and bigger.

“I feel like it’s the most powerful thing in the world, networking,” he said. 

He hopes to continue that process of getting to know people and improving his database skills in his role as an Orange Ambassador this academic year.

When he thinks back to that first project for the juice company, Chowdhury remembers it as his favorite project. But, if he could go back, he says he would have worked to use the resources available to him in his network. Chowdhury said that one of his early mentors and co-founder of American on Tech, Evin Robinson, used to say, “Your network is your net worth.”

Chowdhury said he only recently realized how true that is.

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photo supplied by Season Chowdhury.

James Rudman ’21 explores the crossroads of tech and creativity

student standing in front of a lake

James Rudman ‘21 grew up in the town with the highest concentration of log cabins in the world. Medford Lakes, N.J. was the backdrop to the budding filmmaker’s first videos, which were recorded on a Go-Pro and edited on his high school’s computers. Jumping into lakes, roaming the woods, biking around, Rudman filmed his friends and edited clips together to put on Vine, the now non-existent video sharing platform.

“I thought it was really unique to be able to capture memories and then go back and look at them whenever I wanted to,” Rudman said.

Now a senior studying information management and technology at Syracuse University’s iSchool, Rudman joined the Blackstone LaunchPad this academic year as an Orange Ambassador. In that role he will work to support outreach and engagement with entrepreneurial students across campus.  Eleven Orange Ambassador positions were funded for the 2020 – 2021 year through a generous contribution to SU Libraries by Todd R. Rubin ’04 (School of Architecture), Minister of Evolution and President of The Republic of Tea.

Rudman himself has experience starting his own business. This past summer, as he crouched on his hands and knees as a landscaper, Rudman decided he wanted to do something different. He worked with his friend to co-found 3D AID, a digital marketing company, where he took on the role of chief solutions officer (@threedaid). They produced videos that captured the business’s product, showed their service, and explained how they were adapting in the time of COVID-19. Their first client, a local Açai Bowl shop, helped them build a portfolio and spread the word about their service. Soon enough, they had many local clients. That was the first time Rudman turned his passion for videography into profit.

Throughout the past few months, Rudman has also been adding to his personal YouTube page, producing videos about do-it-yourself dorm décor, quarantine activities,  and summertime adventures. He has also spent time taking a step back during COVID-19. Isolation has allowed him to curate new ideas and get back to running and working out. Rudman says exercising helps relieve anxiety and serves as an outlet.

He has also put his work into a personal portfolio, which he built using his knowledge of web development. It showcases his talents in photography, videography, marketing, and web design.

“I’m a creative in the tech world,” said Rudman

Exploring this intersection of creative pursuits and tech is accessible to anyone said Rudman. He started on free editing software like iMovie before graduating to paid programs. He learned web development in his classes at the iSchool. YouTube tutorials helped him as he gained new skills, so later on he made his own tutorials.

James Rudman with his drone camera

Before joining the LaunchPad, Rudman was an IT intern at Miles Technologies, and before that he was the co-founder of Rescape, a landscaping company. He also has worked at Sidearm Sports as a streaming specialist.

Rudman is looking forward to his final year at Syracuse University working with the LaunchPad to help further student’s entrepreneurial and creative pursuits. His breadth of experience adds expertise and creative energy to the center already teeming with ideas.

“I like the idea of entrepreneurial and creative minds doing more,” said Rudman. “I always thought those people were cool and interesting, and it will be a really cool environment to be involved in.”

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photos supplied by James Rudman