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 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.
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.
Assistant Director of the Foundry
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.
Brandon is a co-founder of Brevitē, a direct-to-consumer brand. He received a BA in Philosophy from Fordham University and his Master of Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Joseph Battista comes to the Foundry with three years of administrative experience working at Fordham University with the Graduate School of Social Service. Battista served as a student services advisor and worked closely with administration to help support the growth and delivery of Fordham’s fully online master’s in social work program. Battista received his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and has worked as a data analyst for an online optical retailer and as a sales professional for a premium beverage distributor in Manhattan. Battista is also no stranger to entrepreneurship having started his own e-commerce business back in 2015. Battista is committed to the success and growth of the Fordham Foundry as it serves a vital role within the Fordham Community.
Marketing and Communications Intern
Julia Rubino is a senior in the Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a primary concentration in management and a secondary concentration in international business with a minor in law and ethics. She is also on the pre-law track. Aside from interning at the Foundry, she is also a Logistics Intern at Christian Louboutin. On-campus, she is Logistics Coordinator for the Mock Trial Team, Outreach Ambassador for the Rose Hill Society, and President of the Pre-Law Society. She is passionate about the law and one day hopes to start her own corporate law firm and, in doing so, able to help entrepreneurs run their businesses.
Development and Alumni Relations Intern
Chirayu is a junior majoring in Finance with a concentration in FinTech at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business. Because of his zest for fundraising and development, he joined the Foundry team to help it grow and build more relations. Apart from this, he is involved with the Gabelli Development Office, Entrepreneurship Society, Student Philanthropy Committee, and United Student Government. Chirayu hopes to work in the investment banking industry after college, but for now, he is a student looking to enhance the Foundry and its connections.
Social Media Intern
Diego Olivero is currently a sophomore at Fordham University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Global Business with a concentration in digital media and technology. His studies continue to fuel his passion for digital media marketing and production. This includes everything from video filming and editing to post-production. As the Foundry’s social media intern, Olivero is responsible for curating the Foundry’s social channels and creating content for them as well. Olivero’s passion for storytelling in the forms of photo, video, and journalism has allowed him to appreciate this world through a new lens.
Special Events Coordinator
Griffin Maher is a senior 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.