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The Foundry grew out of Fordham University’s effort to provide entrepreneurial students with a beyond-the-classroom support structure for their businesses.

Recognizing that great business ideas don’t emerge only from business schools, the Foundry is open to students, alumni, parents, and friends of all of Fordham University’s nine schools and colleges, especially those from liberal arts backgrounds.

The incubator was launched in 2012 under the leadership of Christine Janssen, PhD, the director of the Gabelli School of Business’ undergraduate entrepreneurship program. It is now managed by the following team members:

Albert J. Bartosic

Executive Director

Albert J. Bartosic is a serial entrepreneur who has extensive experience with cloud-based applications and their interface with medical devices. He spent the last 12 years of his 30-year management career as CEO of Standing Stone Inc., a medical software company focused on subspecialty clinical decision support, now part of the global medical-device company Alere, Inc. Bartosic has worked across diverse industries, including private equity, financial services, consumer products, technology, entertainment, and public accounting. He advises startups, serves on the boards of Ridgefield Academy and other nonprofits, and is a director of SecLingua, a cybersecurity company serving the medical industry.

A certified public accountant, Bartosic holds an MBA from New York University and a BS from Fordham University.

Milton J. Sussberg

Director of the Foundry
Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship

Milton J. Sussberg has been a consumer product marketing entrepreneur for over 35 years, having served as the president of the company that launched the food processor, and for the last 30 years has operated his own entrepreneurial sales and marketing consulting firm.

Sussberg & Co. has been involved with many startups, including Sonicare, Thermoscan, and Foodsaver, as well as consulting for Royal Philips, Gillette, and Hamilton Beach. Sussberg has also owned a luxury goods manufacturer and a Class A minor league baseball team.

Sussberg has a BBA in management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA in marketing from Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

Vienna Balsamides

Marketing and Communications Intern

Vienna Balsamides is a junior at Fordham College at Lincoln Center pursuing a major in new media and digital design. She is the Fordham Foundry social media intern. Balsamides has always had an interest in business and currently owns her own small business, Yikes Vintage. She is excited to meet new people through the Foundry and work with other entrepreneurs.

Shaun Johnson

Resident Entrepreneur

Shaun Johnson is a technologist, early adopter, and helper of people. He is the co-founder of Startup Institute, an edtech company equipping individuals with the skills, access, and mindset needed to make an immediate and positive impact on the startup venture they join. Previously, Johnson was an associate at TechStars, the premier startup accelerator providing seed-stage investment and mentorship.

Before that, Johnson was a management consultant in Booz Allen Hamilton’s strategic technology and innovation practice. He has advised companies across the emerging technology landscape, including smart grid energy, healthcare IT, broadband infrastructure, and alternative assets. Prior to Booz Allen, Johnson managed metadata and econometrics as a program analyst at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still a lover of exciting consumer web products, Johnson has also helped numerous startups with product roadmapping, getting off the ground, and taking market share.

Johnson holds a BA in computer science and sociology from Georgetown University and an MS in information systems from The Johns Hopkins University.

Mary Lemmer


Mary Lemmer is an entrepreneur, recovering venture capitalist, philanthropist, improv comedian, and writer. She started her first company at age 14, did early-stage VC, was a director at a Silicon Valley unicorn, published a book of advice for entrepreneurs, and started doing improv comedy to help her as an entrepreneurial leader with loads of anxiety. She now applies improv comedy techniques and philosophy to train business leaders at small startups to Fortune 500 companies and universities, including the University of Michigan, SAP, TechStars, CBSi, R/GA, Silicon Valley Bank, and 500 Startups, among others. She remains the founder of Iorio Gelato, a gelato producer and retail cafe she started as a teenager, and is a founding board member of a philanthropic fund that helps entrepreneurs make contributions to good causes they care about.

Lemmer graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s in business administration, minor in environmental science, and Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the College of Engineering. She also studied improv and comedy writing with some of the most talented people (and probably some future SNL cast members) at The Second City and The Annoyance in Chicago, Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC, and EndGames Improv and Bay Area Theatre Sports in San Francisco, among others. She has performed improv and comedy all over the country.

Griffin Maher

Marketing and Communications Intern

Griffin Maher is a junior at Fordham College at Rose Hill pursuing a major in economics and a minor in marketing from the Gabelli School of Business. He worked two years for the Fordham athletic department where he was a marketing and sales intern. He is a member of the Fordham Marketing Association and the Alternative Investment Club. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and hopes one day to start his own business or create a product. He looks forward to expanding the Foundry’s reach within the Fordham community and also to other passionate people interested in entrepreneurship.

Alana Normile

Marketing and Communications Intern

Alana Normile is currently a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Culture, and a marketing minor from the Gabelli School of Business. On campus, Normile has worked for WFUV radio and is a member of the Fashion for Philanthropy club. Additionally, Normile previously worked for the public relations firm Left Left Right Consulting, where she not only began her work in the field of communications, but also where she helped to build the startup company AllSwell Creative Notebooks, a brainchild of LLR’s principal. She is very excited about the possibilities that the startup industry holds.

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