Carleton Foundry Program launches student careers

When Elliott Gillespie graduates this June, he won’t be looking for a summer job. Using a grant from Carleton University’s Foundry Program, he started his own high tech company.

“The real importance (of the program) is not the money. What’s more important is the connections we made, and the advice and support of the local business and technology community,” says Gillespie.

The Foundry Program provides students, staff, or faculty between $5,000 and $15,000 to fund promising ideas for a technology venture. Gillespie, who studied Commerce, partnered with Brad Whitehead, a Computer Systems Engineering student, to help Internet service providers reduce bandwidth costs. Gillespie boasts that the technology marketed through their business, Ankora technologies, could speed up downloads fivefold.

“The great thing about the Foundry Program is that they’re very selective,” said Gillespie. “You have to prove you’re a valuable investment.”

The lengthy application process, including review of their business plan by local CEOs and technology leaders, helped the team solidify their goals.

The industry has certainly responded with positive comments. The pair recently won the 2004 Technology Venture Challenge as well as Carleton’s Wes Nicol Business Plan Competition.

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