RPI’s very own David Vorick ’14 and Luke Champine ’13 have spent their time out of class founding Sia, a startup company with the aim of developing a superior form of cloud storage. The concept of Sia is simple and powerful. Instead of centralizing the massive hard-drive space needed to market online storage, Sia distributes its clients’ storage needs to a host of users, each of whom volunteer their own local disk space in exchange for payment. This model is beneficial in many ways: it outsources hardware costs to users, increases security by distributing files across many storage devices, and minimizes prices by providing a free marketing setting. Anybody with a hard drive and internet connection can join the network and immediately have paying customers.
While Sia is still in its developmental stages, Vorick and Champine have big plans for the future. “Five years down the line, we imagine Sia as the de facto online storage provider for both commercial and personal use” says Champine. He went on to comment on the important role the Severino Center has played throughout Sia’s development: “the center provides valuable feedback, counseling, and connections. Having access to experienced entrepreneurs has helped us in every aspect, especially with perfecting our recent application to YCombinator.”
YCombinator is a prestigious seed accelerator for budding entrepreneurs. Just recently, Vorick and Champine were thrilled to learn that their application to YCombinator was accepted, granting them an interview next weekend and moving them one step closer to the interactive summer program in Mountain View, C.A.
The Severino Sandbox Enters the Digital Age
The Severino Center’s office, located in RPI’s Pittsburgh building, has long provided a welcoming environment to entrepreneurial students. The “sandbox” is a quiet meeting room where students can think, plan, and create, surrounded by walls adorned with motivational wisdom. While the entrepreneurial residents will always be the greatest resources within the office, the sandbox has recently acquired a new iMac and video screen to further empower ambitious students. By providing access to Adobe CS6, Final Cut Pro, and a brand new backdrop, the sandbox has been transformed into a fully functional video lab. See it for yourself during its open hours, 9 am–10 pm Monday through Thursday and 9 am–5 pm on Friday.
A Gathering for Self-Starters and Pioneers
On Wednesday, May 7, entrepreneurs from across the Capital Region will flock to Troy, congregating within the Revolution Hall of Brown’s Brewing Co. for the next meet-up of the Startup Tech Valley. The doors will open at 5:30 pm, and after enjoying tasteful hors d’oeuvres and a complimentary brew, four local startup founders will take the stage to discuss their creations. Don’t miss this opportunity to get inspired and meet like-minded innovators.
Learn More about Entrepreneurship at RPI
For more information on local entrepreneurship, look out for meetings of the Foundry-RPI, which take place Tuesdays April 24 6–7:30 pm in the Games Room of the Rensselaer Union. This gathering welcomes all entrepreneurs on campus, providing feedback, mentorship, and free food! Details can be found at http://poly.rpi.edu/85326.