Fordham Foundry Invests in Student Business


The Fordham Foundry makes its first investment in a student company through the Angel Fund.

The Fordham Foundry’s Angel Fund recently made its first investment in student business. The fund’s first investment was made to the company Cinesave, founded by Fordham student Ethan Manning, FCLC ‘21.

The Angel Fund has $100,000 in commitment money, according to Al Bartosic, GSB ‘84, the Executive Director of the Fordham Foundry. The fund was established in 2019 ​​to help the Fordham community bring entrepreneurial ideas to life.

According to Bartosic, the Angel Fund has a group of Fordham students called Angel Fund Fellows who act as venture capitalists. The fellows speak to founders and assess where new companies are in their development. Once a month, the fellows bring their companies to an investment committee made up of five investment professionals to try to receive funding. 

 “We have probably brought somewhere north of 60 companies to the investment committee,” said Bartosic. “Cinesave was the first investment that was made.” 

Cinesave is a company that tracks and analyzes audience attendance at theatres in order to help them manage prices and marketing strategies, as well as other strategic business moves. Manning said the business was inspired by his own movie-going experiences.

“I was motivated to come up with the idea for Cinesave after constantly finding myself in near-empty movie showings,” said Manning. “Because of this, I was encouraged to find a mutually beneficial model that could help theaters while also providing benefits to consumers. Cinesave, by providing discounted tickets and turning otherwise empty seats into sources of revenue, did just that.” 

Like the airline industry, Cinesave helps theatres create dynamic pricing of tickets. “A movie theater is just like an airplane in the sense that once you press the button and start the film, whether there are two people in the seats or 100 people, the cost of showing that film is pretty much the same,” said Bartosic. 

Dynamic pricing is when the price of a good or service fluctuates depending on supply and demand. 

Manning was able to set his company apart by showing the extensive research he had done. In fact, according to Bartosic, before coming to the Angel Fund, Manning had already worked with a few theatres in New Jersey. 

He figured out how to build the model, how to build the algorithm. He had tested it out,” said Bartosic, “He had done the research and had proven the fact that there was interest out there from theater owners for this type of product.”

Manning is a film major, giving him a personal connection to movie theatres. He said he began developing Cinesave many years ago. 

“Ethan came, and he had been developing Cinesave for at least two or three years,” said Bartosic. “He is really committed and passionate about the movie industry in general. That’s another [reason why Manning stood out] — most founders that are successful have some kind of passion for their industry or the problem that they’re solving.” 

According to Bartosic, Manning received $15,000 from the Angel Fund. Additionally, Cinesave will be eligible for more funding if it is able to meet a couple of milestones regarding signing up for theatres and getting more people involved. 

“What we’re hoping is that if Ethan needs more money, he can use his experience at the Angel Fund to go out and raise additional funds for his business as it grows,” said Bartosic. 

Manning noted the impact that this funding will have on his business’s ability to grow. “[The investment] will give us the funds to get all the business formation and legal work complete, as well as get our product to a point where it can launch effectively in the coming months,” said Manning.