Dingman Bootstrapped

Dingman Bootstrapped
By The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business
About this podcast
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.
Latest episodes
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.
Nov. 30, 2017
On this episode of Dingman Bootstrapped, we interviewed UMD alumnus and serial entrepreneur, Paul Capriolo. Throughout his career, Paul founded and led a multitude of technology startups to successful acquisitions. In 2009, Paul noticed the explosive growth in the social gaming industry and the lack of a monetization method to capitalize on its user base. Paul started Social Growth Technologies to serve as a flexible platform that allows companies to monetize the social gaming market through in-game advertising. After seven years of growth and expansion, Paul recently secured an acquisition of Social Growth Technologies by Kiswe Mobile in 2017. In this episode, Paul details his initial motivations behind being an entrepreneur, the challenges he faced as a computer science major with no background in business and the process of growing a business in an emerging two-sided market.
Nov. 14, 2017
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed University of Maryland alumnus and co-founder & CEO of Rybbon, Jignesh Shah. At his previous position as CMO at Metalogix, Jignesh experienced frustration with the outdated physical gift-giving model; marketing was shifting to digital platforms such as email and social media, and sending a physical gift card in the mail was too slow and cumbersome. So, Jignesh founded Rybbon to streamline the digital gifting process and to serve as the digital gifting platform for marketers and researchers. In this episode, Jignesh speaks to the struggles Rybbon faced being a bootstrapped company, the unique strategy they implemented to acquire their first customers, and their the role they play in the digital marketing industry.
Oct. 31, 2017
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed Jennifer Lee-Harrison, a Smith School MBA alumna and the founder of Perfect Hair International. Jennifer spent 16 years working in corporate America before she was struck with entrepreneurial inspiration. As Senior Director of Marketing and Advertising at Choice Hotels, she was encouraged to complete an MBA to pursue a position as Vice President of Marketing at the company. During her entrepreneurship class, Jennifer got the idea to disrupt the $13 billion hair-extension industry with branded products targeted to African-American women. That business, Perfect Hair International, went on to achieve $1.3 million in sales in just one year. Listen to the episode to hear how she leveraged her network to orchestrate her rise to success and learn her three pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Oct. 17, 2017
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed UMD alumnus, serial entrepreneur and President and CEO of ThreatQuotient, John Czupak. Before ThreatQuotient, John worked at Sourcefire in a variety of roles from 2002 to 2013, until he ultimately engineered a $2.7 billion acquisition with Cisco, the 3rd largest pure play cybersecurity acquisition ever. In this episode, John discusses the approach, mindset and key factors that cybersecurity startups must implement to be successful in a competitive environment.
Oct. 3, 2017
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed venture capitalist and UMD alumnus Gary Swart. Gary operates out of Silicon Valley as a general partner at Polaris Partners, a Boston VC firm that invests in technology and healthcare companies. Prior to his role at Polaris Partners, Gary was CEO of oDesk, a job-search platform that aimed to be the number one destination for job-seekers looking to work remotely. During his eight-year stint as CEO, Gary gained keen insights on customer acquisition, global expansion and staying ahead of competitors, lessons that as an investor he imparts to the entrepreneurs he works with. In this episode, Gary describes the challenges of being CEO, the key factors a startup needs before seeking investment and the differences between the startup ecosystems of Boston and Silicon Valley.
Sept. 19, 2017
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed Kathryn Stewart, an investor in private and public equity and a member of the Dingman Center Angels and Board of Advisors. After spending 10 years working as a partner at Alex.Brown covering healthcare and technology, Kathryn wanted to give back and help others by creating jobs, so she started to invest in companies that utilized technology in order to make an impact. In this episode, Kathryn discusses her personalized approach to how she invests in entrepreneurs, and reveals the attributes a startup needs to draw angel investors.