Dingman Bootstrapped

By The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business

About this podcast   English    United States

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business produces Bootstrapped, a podcast featuring founders, investors and serial entrepreneurs. While the podcast covers many aspects of startup life, the heart of the show focuses on funding from both the founder and investor perspectives, thus the name Bootstrapped. The podcast is hosted by Elana Fine, Managing Director of the Dingman Center, and Joe Bailey, Associate Research Professor at the Smith School. Each episode starts with trend stories from the hosts, moves onto an interview with a special guest then closes with a segment titled, "Kickstarter or Not?" Tune in to hear insights into startup life and venture creation.
May 15, 2018
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed UMD alumnus and co-founder and CEO of Zentail Daniel Sugarman ’10. Daniel and his co-founder, Daniel Sperling-Horowitz, first launched a business called HD Trade Services that used technology to decrease fraud in international trading. After entering Y Combinator, they ultimately realized their business model was not sustainable, pivoted, and renamed themselves Zentail to offer their strong automation and data analytics software to retailers. Today, Zentail is an ecommerce platform that gives online retailers and brands the ability to sync catalog and inventory data, maintain competitive pricing, obtain analytics and ship products through channels such as Amazon, Jet.com and Walmart. In this episode, Daniel shares how forming a network and understanding the capital structure behind his startup allowed him to pivot his idea to a different runway while leveraging his current strengths.
May 1, 2018
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed founder and owner of MOM’s Organic Market Scott Nash. Scott started MOM’s Organic Market in 1987, selling produce out of his mother’s garage and using his sister’s Chevy Malibu to deliver grocery orders at night. Today, Scott has grown MOM’s Organic Market to a point where it has stores in four states and Washington D.C., employs more than 1,000 people and has a dedicated following of customers committed to its purpose of protecting and restoring the environment. In this episode, Scott discusses the slow and methodical approach to his growth, how branding is the most valuable aspect of MOM’s and how progressive and socially active values are integral to his business.
April 17, 2018
On this episode of Bootstrapped, our executive producer switched to the special guest chair as we interviewed UMD alumnus Oscar Zeballos EMBA ’16, co-founder of Podcast Village and executive producer of Bootstrapped. Often, podcasters have a difficult time nailing every aspect of their show as they don’t always have the resources or know-how. To resolve this pain point, Oscar created Podcast Village to provide a turnkey solution for podcasters to collaborate and create their video or audio show at the highest level possible. On this episode of Bootstrapped, Oscar discusses the business model behind Podcast Village, the future he sees for podcasting and how he leveraged his network and unfair advantages to bring his vision to fruition.  
April 3, 2018
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed alumnus Jon Chapman MBA '07, Co-Founder and President of EverFi, a leading EdTech company. Jon and his co-founders launched EverFi during the recession of 2008, when they identified an opportunity to teach young adults critical skills such as financial literacy through a gamified educational platform. EverFi’s strategy allows private sector entities ranging from banks like BB&T to professional sports leagues like the NHL and NFL to private label EverFi’s product and partner with EverFi to run educational programs in communities they care about. In this episode, Jon details how EverFi focused on understanding their clients as well as their end consumers, and how EverFi went from a bootstrapped company in 2008 to raising $190 M in a Series D round in 2017.
March 16, 2018
Entrepreneurship can be overwhelming. Social entrepreneurship, more so! In this episode, Melissa Bradley explains the nuances of social entrepreneurship and how social entrepreneurs can make the impact they set out to make.
March 6, 2018
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed UMD alumnus Eddie Inlow MBA ’09, founder and CEO of Shift Transit. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Eddie had extensive experience in strategy and operations, having worked on the leadership team at Under Armour and consulting for Best Buy and Ross Stores. Eddie’s first exposure to the bike share industry was when he worked for Atla Bicycle Share as the General Manager of the Chicago program in 2013, and he later transitioned into the role of COO for the company. It was in 2015 that Eddie went off on his own to found Shift Transit, a comprehensive bike share service provider that collaborates with cities to launch personalized bike share programs. In this episode, Eddie discusses how he tailors his program to each individual city, the rapid evolution of the bike share industry and the challenges of working in the public-private partnership space as an entrepreneur.
Feb. 22, 2018
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed Pam Rothenberg, partner at Womble Bond Dickinson and member of the Dingman Center Board of Advisors, and Chris Finlay, Founder and Chairman of Shelters to Shutters and the founder and principal of Middleburg Real Estate Partners, a multifamily real estate development company. Pam became an intrapreneur within her law firm by founding the firm’s Impact Business whose mission is to “Power Commerce in the Impact Economy.” Through the Impact Business, Pam and her colleagues work with high growth startups, stabilized Impact operating companies and legacy businesses that are all engaged in both pursuing profit and addressing endemic social challenges through their core business activities. Through this work, Pam encountered Chris and his non-profit organization, Shelters to Shutters, that partners with apartment community owners to provide full-time employment and discounted housing to the situationally homeless. In this episode, Pam and Chris discuss their backgrounds in real estate, the growing evolution of the impact economy, and how Chris is developing Shelters to Shutters into a scalable, self-sufficient nonprofit through implementing a sustainable business model that provides value for the clients it serves, as well as for the multifamily developers that partner with the organization in providing jobs and housing to its clients. Pam works closely with Chris and the Shelters to Shutters team to support the organization’s mission and objectives.
Feb. 6, 2018
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed former Dingman Center Angels and co-founders of Legends of Learning, Josh Goldberg ’03 and Vadim Polikov. In 2008, Josh and Vadim launched their first business, Astrum Solar, and together successfully anticipated trends in the market and grew the company until its acquisition by Direct Energy in 2014. Utilizing their background as founders, they then launched the Panther Angels with the aim to invest in and mentor Baltimore and D.C. area entrepreneurs. It was in 2016 that Josh and Vadim co-founded Legends of Learning, a platform which uses gaming as an educational tool to foster stronger subject mastery and engagement among K-12 students. In this episode, Josh and Vadim explore their shared experiences as both founders and funders and share some of the challenges in being entrepreneurial in the K-12 education space. 
Dec. 18, 2017
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed Hillary Berman, a Smith School MBA alumna and the founder of Popcorn & Ice Cream, a marketing and consulting firm designed to cater to the needs and budgets of small businesses and startups. Hillary encourages her clients to see their business in the eyes of their customer, then builds them a customized marketing strategy that both attracts customers and meets measured goals and objectives. After six years in business, in 2016 she published Customer, LLC: The Small Business Guide to Customer Engagement & Marketing to provide a resource for entrepreneurs looking to find the most efficient marketing tactics for reaching their customers. In this episode, Hillary discusses the benefits of marketing automation technology, common startup marketing pitfalls and her three pieces of advice for entrepreneurs looking to boost their business.
Dec. 12, 2017
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed UMD alumnus and co-Founder and CEO of Compology, Jason Gates. Compology provides the only image-based container monitoring hardware and software that allows for increased revenue generation, efficiency, transparency and sustainability across the waste and recycling industries. Compology streamlines the waste and recycling collection process for waste haulers, generators and regulators. The idea for Compology started in 2012 when Jason thought to join his passion and background in waste management with his co-founder’s experiences in sensor technology. While Compology initially focused only on monitoring food waste, through customer feedback and market analysis the founders decided to pivot their initial idea to encompass all streams of solid waste. In this episode, Jason discusses how his startup evolved over time and how his hands-on approach and flexibility with customers allowed him to build extensive brand loyalty.

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