Name: Aidan Cunniffe, CEO & Founder Queue Software Inc.
Hometown: Malvern, PA
Clubs&Organizations: SU Running Club, EEE Club
Two years ago, Aidan Cunniffe came to Syracuse University as a freshman interested in both film and entrepreneurship. After some time at college, he soon realized that he was much more interested in starting his own business than pursuing a film career. However, he decided to keep film as a hobby and committed himself fully to Whitman’s Entrepreneurship program. He had a background starting ventures before coming to Syracuse, having dabbled in a few small ventures, founding a non-profit, and managing a plethora of different organizations. Due to his previous experiences, by the time he arrived on campus he had already fallen in love with the idea of being his own boss.
During the first few months of his freshman year, he quickly observed that many of the up-and-coming entrepreneurs of Whitman were waiting until their senior years or grad school before starting their companies. He believed that this would be problematic because these students would have large loans to begin paying off shortly after they graduated and would have to secure real jobs to pay the bills. His suspicions proved true, seeing numerous high potential companies fade away due to these unfortunate circumstances. Witnessing the aftermath of those companies, along with his determination to becoming a successful entrepreneur, has given him the mindset to avoid similar outcomes. He understood that he had to have a proactive attitude if he wanted to thrive as an entrepreneur. Developing a plan was first on his list, as he dreamed of starting his own company as soon as possible, grow it, and then leave Whitman with his company already established and thriving. He quickly got to work.
The remainder of freshman year he had taught himself, both in and out of the classroom, the skills needed to be successful. During February of 2013, he met Nate Frechette, a Le Moyne senior at the time, who would eventually start Queue, Aidan’s startup, and become its chief technology officer (CTO). Nate and Aidan built a location based social networking app in two weeks called Droppin, which got around a thousand users during Syracuse Basketball’s exciting NCAA Tournament performance. It became popular because people could talk about the games with anyone nearby. Clueless to what they were getting themselves into, they entered the App ‘just because’ in the RvD competition in Whitman and won the top prize of $10,000. The judges disliked the App, but were beyond impressed with the team chemistry and dynamics and thought they could put the money towards building an amazing company. They dipped their toes into a couple of ventures and made a decent amount of money, but had no clear course during the summer of 2013.
Suddenly, Queue took a new course of action and decided to do something world changing. Instead of building apps and websites in 2 weeks and then selling them in volume, they wanted to build something so advanced that no one could easily replicate. They started spending some money on random things and ‘playing’ with code. At some point along the way they had came up with the idea of automating computer programming. There were a bunch of tasks such as driving, which everyone said could never be automated not too long ago, that were starting to be automated. Aidan believed the holy grail of automation would be computers that could write code on their own. The market for computer automation is enormous because getting an App developed today can take several months and tens of thousands of dollars. It is barely accessible, even to large companies. Queue, if successful, could do it in a day or two.
Fast forward a year and Queue has developed an amazing technology that automates the development of highly complex mobile apps. They have filed patents on the system and are confident that once released the product will completely disrupt the software development industry. The code our system writes is completely custom and of identical quality a human developer would produce by hand if they were writing the same App. Queue has been angel funded and will be moving to a new office in Raleigh, NC in August. Once they arrive, they will be hiring several new employees to supercharge the growth of the company. Aidan will be taking the year off from school to work at Queue full time and help it fulfill its large potential.
He would not be where he is today without Whitman and it is great to know that no matter what happens the Whitman community will welcome him back with open arms whenever he chooses to visit. Knowing Aidan personally, I know that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. His dedication is way beyond those of many and for a student like Aidan success is inevitable as long as he continues to maintain his unbelievable work ethic. For those who are interesting in entrepreneurship and who seek advice in how to start and manage your own business, Aidan is an exceptional contact to network with. All of us at Whitman know Queue will continue to flourish as the years’ progress. Even though he will not be attending Whitman this year, he is a great candidate to continue to watch, as he will be reaching ambitions that many upcoming entrepreneurs dream of. Continue the great work, Aidan, and best of luck in North Carolina!