By Pierry Parmera

Andrew Foti
Andrew Foti

After an eight-month wait, the SA’s the executive-in-residence (EIR) initiative has been formally launched.

Watch a video of businesses that started at Algonquin College

As the SA announced this March through their general manager, Jack Doyle, students are now able to meet the Executive-in-Residence, Andrew Foti, to discuss their business and entrepreneurship ideas.

“My job as the EIR is to promote entrepreneurship. Four things effectively around entrepreneurship: expose, excite, engage and enable,” said Foti, the new EIR. “I am one in a number of resources at the college and the idea is to put a face to a name around entrepreneurship.”

The SA is looking to remain faithful to the initial ideas they presented in the past as Foti will be a guide and mentor to students who need entrepreneurship advice.

“Students have great ideas on how to create business but don’t know how to start them,” said Jack Doyle, general manager of the SA during the initial launch of the program last semester.

“I am all about entrepreneurship without judgment,” said Foti. “What we are trying to do is to create an ecosystem that encourages and supports innovation.”

As an experienced corporate lawyer, legal executive and strategic advisor, the SA has a lot of confidence in Foti’s abilities to deliver and his understanding of business and entrepreneurship.

“The way we are going to prosper in North-America and stay ahead is by being the most creative; creating ideas and bring them to the market,” said Foti.

As an initiative that is solely directed towards students, the SA is hoping that students from all over the college will get involved, especially those who have ideas that they want to develop.

“I plan to start my own business hopefully right out of college, keep myself busy, and get my own connections in order to get my own network expended,” said David Wilson a business management student and leader at Algonquin, who is using Foti’s services and leadership.

Wilson’s passion for entrepreneurship aroused his interest in the EIR program, and as director of the SA and student leader, he sits on the EIR committee to give the student prospective to the initiative.

“Right now, the way the economy is going it’s almost demanding entrepreneurs,” said Wilson. “For a while, the school has been preparing students for a job. But now they are thinking maybe we should prepare them for the ability to make a job.”

The EIR initiative has received college-wide support. Foti is delighted with the encouragement he has received to help students realize their dreams.

“This is a catalyst that promotes a discussion among a number of groups at the college,” said Foti. “If we are going to be successful, we are going to be successful together,”

Algonquin students can now visit the SA website and book an appointment with Andrew Foti.