News at Smith

Melissa Bradley Advocates a Business First Approach to Social Venture on Bootstrapped

Mar 16, 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 angel investor and Managing Director of Project 500 Melissa Bradley. Melissa’s background in banking, entrepreneurship, venture capital and angel investing has given her a thorough understanding of how to help startups implement sustainable social impact practices without sacrificing profitability. Through Project 500, Melissa utilizes her experience and provides diverse businesses in D.C. with the resources, infrastructure and guidance needed to advance the economic success of both their company and community. In this episode, Melissa stresses the importance of establishing a sustainable business model before pursuing an impact strategy. Hear Melissa talk about the challenges and opportunities when launching a social venture and the sectors where she sees the most potential.

Melissa was the Managing Director at New Capitalist from 1999 to 2010 where she facilitated over $20 million in venture capital transactions for seed-stage companies. In 2010 to 2013, Melissa served as the CEO of Tides where she was responsible for fundraising, business planning, business development, and innovations. Along with working as a faculty member at Georgetown since 2012, Melissa is currently the Managing Director of Project 500 since May 2016. 

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.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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