Fordham Foundry Celebrates 10th Anniversary


Fordham Foundry is celebrating its tenth anniversary. (Courtesy of Fordham News)

On Oct. 27, the Fordham Foundry celebrated its 10th anniversary. The Foundry is Fordham’s entrepreneurial hub. Students and alumni can bring business ideas to the Foundry to get help cultivating them and can participate in competitions to win funding.

The Foundry hosted an event in Costantino Hall at Fordham Lincoln Center to celebrate the anniversary. The event featured speakers who talked about the importance of entrepreneurialism.
In the past, multiple companies have emerged from the Foundry, such as NorthNode, which “[connects] good-doers with the nonprofits they care about.”

Al Bartosic, executive director of the Fordham Foundry, said, “It was great. There were about 200 people there, which far exceeded our expectations, so a lot of the entrepreneurial community of Fordham [came].” He added, “I had a little welcoming remark that talked about what the Foundry has done and what it’s achieved in the last decade, and then we had some video clips from students and alumni founders.”

The event’s keynote speaker was John Kilcullen, FCRH ’81, and the creator of the “For Dummies” series. The “For Dummies” book series is an extensive collection of instructional guides that are generally not intimidating nor condescending.

“He started [the “For Dummies”] business and he was very engaging. [He] talked about entrepreneurship and resilience. He talked about his journey in terms of founding that book series,” said Bartosic.

Following Kilcullen’s speech, there was a “Fireside Chat” with current Fordham entrepreneurs. They talked about their experiences so far in creating start-ups. According to Bartosic, the event was a success and shows that entrepreneurship is thriving at the university.

(Courtesy of Twitter)

“The number of people at the event and the engagement, because they all stayed later than the event was supposed to run, [shows] that entrepreneurship is alive and well at Fordham,” said Bartosic.
Bartosic also said that he felt like the event showed that perception around entrepreneurship, business and the Foundry is changing.

“I think that people think that on the business side of things, [think] Fordham is a finance and accounting school. I think on the liberal arts side of things, people think, ‘oh, business is a dirty word, and we don’t want to get involved in startups.’ But a lot of people that were there [were from] FCRH, FCLC, GSS, all entrepreneurs looking to start businesses that will make an impact. That to me was the biggest takeaway from the event that I was thrilled with,” said Bartosic.

Bartosic said that he is proud of the 10-year anniversary mark.

“It’s a milestone along the way. It achieves something,” he said.

Bartosic also noted the impact and the changes the Foundry has made along the way. During the event, Bartosic said some Fordham alumni said they wished the Foundry was around during their time.

Bartosic said that he is happy that Foundry has been able to expand its clientele throughout the years and that students from all over Fordham, not just Gabelli, have been engaging with entrepreneurship.

“It’s become more open to all. When the Foundry first started, it was a Gabelli-centric enterprise. You had to apply with a business idea, you had to get accepted into the Foundry to be a part of it and we changed that to just kinda say ‘look, anyone from any part of Fordham who is interested in starting a business, talking about a business, who wants to work on a business, wants to meet other people working on a business, come to the Foundry,’” said Bartosic.

Looking towards the future, the Foundry has its annual competitions coming up. The Pitch Challenge where participants pitch business ideas and compete for funding, typically takes place in April. Battle of the Bronx, an entrepreneurship challenge against Manhattan College also usually takes place in April as well. Ram’s Den, a “Shark Tank” style competition, usually takes place in December.

“We’ve been around for 10 years, and we’re going to continue to help students on their entrepreneurial journey. [It] is worth celebrating,” said Bartosic.

After ten years of innovation and entrepreneurship, the Fordham Foundry’s legacy continues to grow as more Fordham students from across all the campuses continue to participate and compete in the Foundry competitions. In the next ten years, the entrepreneurship at Fordham will continue to advance and flourish.