On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed Radio & Television host Santana Moss. Moss played in the NFL for fourteen seasons. As the first-round pick in the 2001 NFL draft, Santana knew that he was going to need to take proactive measures to maintain his newly acquired wealth. Santana adopted a live and learn approach to entrepreneurship and began investing in real estate and other small businesses. All with varying degrees of success. From his early missteps, he gradually learned what to look for in an investment. On this episode, Santana shares how he learned the hard way that you shouldn’t blindly trust everyone you come across and the importance of perseverance following failure.
On this episode of Bootstrapped, we interviewed alumnus Jay Sunny Bajaj ’99, the Founder and CEO of DMI and a Robert H. Smith School of Business advisory board member. Growing up with two entrepreneurs as parents, Sunny knew he was going to have his own business one day. Now, Sunny operates a $350 million company that offers comprehensive digital solutions to federal and commercial markets. On this episode, Sunny discusses how he stayed close to innovation to win contracts in the federal market space, and how he shifted his mindset from entrepreneur to CEO to grow as a leader alongside his business.
Listen to Dr. Charlene Brown’s story of starting CareGiver Jobs Now (formerly Reciprocare Jobs), a recruiting platform to help caregivers find jobs in the healthcare industry. She shares the challenges of balancing a two-sided market and navigating product market fit.
As a student hockey player at University of Maryland, startup founder Stephen Steinberg developed a powerful yet safe-on-skin cleaning solution for his smelly sports gear. Learn how he bootstrapped his company, Raw Athletics, which sells green cleaning products to gyms, athletic teams and consumers all over the country.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.