Sidney Keith, '11
When Sidney Keith, ’11, started college at Kent State in 2007, his plan was to one day work in entertainment public relations. Being named a partner at a software development company before he graduated was not on his radar; however, that’s exactly how life played out – and now he can’t imagine doing anything else.
“Because I’m managing a business and people on top of it, it’s not just PR. ... But all of the PR background – the writing, the presentation skills, the well- roundedness of the program – was a good fit for going into what I’m doing now,” Keith said.
While he was a student, he freelanced for a small Ohio-based app development company, Napkin Studio, which had created one of the first 100 apps in Apple’s App Store. Napkin Studio soon hired Keith full time, and he began working with clients from coast to coast. Eventually, he and a group of three others began working on screen sharing apps and technology to make working with remote clients in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco more efficient.
“We thought nothing of it,” Keith said. “We thought, ‘Hey, we have a need for this, and maybe a couple hundred other people have a need for it.’ Then, we started getting orders rolling in for tens of thousands of dollars.”
From that, Squirrels LLC was born. The newly formed company honed in on screen sharing technology, bought out Napkin Studio, and Keith was named a partner while he was still a student. The company’s industry-leading screen mirroring apps are now used worldwide in more than 100,000 classrooms and in millions of homes and businesses.
The company continues to be forward-thinking and is expanding in existing markets.
“It’s stressful. It’s fun,” Keith said. “Every day’s a new challenge and a new adventure, dealing with things I didn’t think I would be dealing with seven years ago. Here I am, talking to multimillion-dollar, billion-dollar companies across the globe, trying to land business deals. I’m not only worrying about myself, but countless employees here and their families who rely on us to keep things going.”
(Adapted from a previously published article, based on a 2017 interview.)