Behind a set of big glass doors on the 7th floor of the offices of Fordham Place (at 400 E. Fordham Road) is a productive work space, known as the Fordham Foundry.
The Fordham Foundry, which began housing businesses this past June, specifically serves as a business incubator that assists promising entrepreneurs who are connected to Fordham (students, alumni, or faculty) in whatever stage their business may be. So far, six businesses have found a home at the Foundry.
The Foundry is a fully-equipped collaborative workspace with access to computer labs and conference rooms, but it also provides a variety of relevant services and resources such as Wi-Fi, servers, a professional telephone service, Apple TV, mentors and continued education.
The Foundry’s calendar of events is ever evolving with the goal of providing continued education to members as well as spreading the word about the value of the Foundry to guests and prospective members. The Foundry also has a mentoring program in which 14 business professionals (so far) are readily available to mentor, network and build relationships with members.
The space itself is shared with NYC Business Solutions Center in the Bronx, a city-run not-for-profit organization that supports small businesses and entrepreneurs, and for good reason—they have a clear connection to one another. The unique partnership that exists between the City of New York’s Small Business Services and Fordham University aids both the Bronx and the Fordham community, and most of all supports the solidification of the Bronx as a bustling borough with plenty of potential.
Dr. Christine Janssen-Selvadurai, a full-time Lecturer, the Director of the Entrepreneurship Program in the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University, and Co-Director the Foundry, believes that the Foundry is helping Fordham do its part in the surrounding community. Holding workshops and bootcamps for the Bronx community and giving opportunities to Fordham students with internships with Foundry member companies are just a few of the opportunities that will be provided through the Foundry.
“Fordham is never going away, so how can we make this neighborhood better? By providing greater opportunities for the businesses, students, and others within the Bronx, we are creating a win-win situation for all,” says Janssen-Selvadurai.
Bridge, started by Edward Cullen, FCRH ’09, is one particular business that has been helped through The Foundry. Bridge aims to replace the traditional resume or job application by testing the hands-on skills of high school and college students through a collaborative and situational game-like technology platform.
“Young entrepreneurs don’t know what steps to take or how to execute their ideas, and I think that’s why the Foundry is so great. They help you to get in contact with lawyers, with setting up your operating agreement, and more. There’s so much that goes into starting a company that you might not even realize, so the Foundry has been great with pointing us in the right direction and to the right contacts,” says Cullen.
Cullen (who graduated from Fordham with a major in economics and double minor in philosophy and Latin) and Janssen-Selvadurai both emphasize the fact that the Foundry goes way beyond the Gabelli School of Business.
“This isn’t just a business school effort, but it’s a university-wide initiative to support the entire Fordham community,” says Janssen-Selvadurai.
Dr. Janssen-Selvadurai truly believes in the Foundry’s power to help businesses grow and progress, and highly recommends entrepreneurship as a long-term career goal.
“You’re going to bust your rear at a job no matter what. Why don’t you bust your rear doing something you really enjoy? You will definitely make a lot of sacrifices, but the impact you can make to move society forward and challenge the status quo is truly awesome. We’re here to help alleviate the scary parts of starting a business by providing the support system that you’ll need to help move your ideas forward.”
The Foundry plans to hold open houses on the first Tuesday of every month during the Spring semester and onward. Eager and dedicated students of any major or background are encouraged to attend to learn more and become involved.
For more information on the Fordham Foundry’s application process, upcoming events, current members and more, visit www.fordhamfoundry.org!