News at Smith

Legends of Learning Co-Founders Talk About Success as Startup Founders and Angel Investors on Bootstrapped

Feb 06, 2018
Entrepreneurial Spirit


The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship produces Bootstrapped, a podcast featuring founders, investors and serial entrepreneurs. The podcast is hosted by Elana Fine, Executive Director of the Dingman Center, and Joe Bailey, Associate Research Professor at the Smith School. Each episode brings a different startup story to life with special guests offering advice and lessons learned on topics that range from fundraising and marketing to team formation and customer acquisition.

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.

Prior to their careers together, Josh Goldberg graduated from the University of Maryland in 2003 with a degree in Finance and History and went on to receive his J.D. in law from UMD in 2006. Vadim Polikov graduated from Duke University in 2003 with a degree in Biomedical and Medical Engineering and later received his PhD from Duke in 2009. Vadim started his first venture American Journal Experts in 2004 to help foreign researchers publish their findings in English language journals.

To listen to this episode and gain further insights into the startup world, subscribe to Dingman Bootstrapped on iTunes or download the episodes on the Dingman Center website.

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