#30 -- Vlada Bortnik, Founder of Marco Polo, An Immigrant Story, An App That Helps Us Stay in Touch

Sue Heilbronner

When Vlada Bortnik arrived in the United States from the Ukraine at age 10 knowing very little English, her family settled in Kansas. Vlada was immersed in the language and in American culture, but she has never forgotten many of the things many Americans take for granted -- food in the grocery stores and enough money to buy it.

From the time she was a kid, the founder of Joya (known best for the widely popular video communication app Marco Polo) has charted an intentional life. She landed at Northwestern University with a meaningful scholarship (which she needed), she majored in art and computer science, she successfully navigated from intern to product manager at Microsoft, and then she went out on her own (alongside her husband and co-founder) and built businesses that addressed market gaps or, with Marco Polo, solved a real problem.

Vlada tells her inspiring entrepreneurial journey and her motivation for focusing on Marco Polo to help families communicate better with each other through technology. Hear the intimate conversation on the Real Leaders Podcast with Sue Heilbronner.

Sue Heilbronner

Sue Heilbronner is the CEO of MergeLane and a Conscious Leadership executive coach and consultant.

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