StFX’s entrepreneurial ecosystem expands with first Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Alex Dorward
StFX alumnus and entrepreneur Alex Dorward speaks with the Coady Institute’s Emilie Chiasson about his experience as an entrepreneur at Social Entrepreneurship Fund event February 8, 2024. 

StFX’s Gerald Schwartz School of Business is pleased to announce its first Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR). The EIR will provide expertise, mentorship and guidance in entrepreneurial endeavors exclusively for students at StFX, as well as advising the Entrepreneurship Stream of the Schwartz School of Business on business trends and opportunities. 

The inaugural EIR, starting in September 2024, is Alex Dorward. Mr. Dorward, who graduated from StFX with a Bachelor of Information Systems in 2011, brings a wealth of experience to the position. Since his graduation, he has founded and sold three businesses, and has served as CEO for three award-winning marketing agencies. In parallel with some of these ventures, he was an executive at Accenture in its Digital practice (now called Accenture Song). Mr. Dorward is currently the CEO and owner of Ascribe Marketing as well as the CEO and founder of Bunking. 

Mr. Dorward has already had an impact on campus in supporting student entrepreneurship. In February 2024 he co-founded a $5,000 StFX Social Entrepreneurship Fund.  The inaugural award was presented to third year BBA student Inka Mittler for her circular economy initiative to repurpose wasted 3D printing filament. 

“I am extremely excited to not only serve as the inaugural EIR, but more importantly, I am thrilled that this position now exists to help support and mentor aspiring student entrepreneurs at StFX,” he says.

“This addition further adds to the impressive entrepreneurial ecosystem that exists at X, ultimately helping position the university as a leader in incubating, nurturing, and supporting student led ventures.”

The EIR will work in partnership with the Entrepreneurship stream of the Schwartz School of Business. Faculty members Dr. Abede Mack and Dr. Neil Maltby are excited to move forward supporting student entrepreneurship. According to Dr. Maltby, “Student entrepreneurship has exploded on campus – within the Schwartz School of Business but also among science, arts and education students. These young entrepreneurs are launching ventures while completing their studies, competing in local and regional competitions, and raising – in some cases – significant early-stage capital. An EIR will help support this emerging ecosystem of talent.”

Students from across campus will benefit from this opportunity. Discoverbox Manager Paula Brophy works with entrepreneurial students via programs like the Start-up Labs and the Wallace Family Internships and sees many potential benefits to students.

“An Entrepreneur-in-Residence will play a critical role in fostering the entrepreneurial mindset on campus. I think this opportunity will help strengthen and expand our reach across all disciplines.   Students will gain invaluable knowledge from Alex; someone who knows what taking a concept to venture means.  StFX has established a supportive environment for student entrepreneurs in which the EIR will help students grow their wings and take flight! I am excited to see our entrepreneurial ecosystem expand.”

EIR Alex Dorward (second from left) with Dr. Neil Maltby, Schwartz School of Business, Inka Mittler, SEF recipient, Paula Brophy, DiscoverBox Manager, Emilie Chiasson, Coady International Institute, and Alexis MacDonald, Department of Advancement.  

In his role as EIR, Mr. Dorward will mentor students exploring entrepreneurial ideas, support student projects in entrepreneurship classes, offer workshops about launching ventures, and participate in pitch events. 

Dean of Business, Dr. Tim Hynes, says “The Entrepreneur-in-Residence program is yet another means by which the Schwartz School will be able to provide the rich immersive experience for which we are known. Our objective is to allow students the opportunity to learn by doing and to test themselves by putting their theory into practice. We look forward to having Alex share his entrepreneurial talents and experience with our students and faculty.”