Many of the topics founders discussed at Baltimore’s first Bootstrappers Breakfast are no strangers to founders anywhere: time management, capital, hiring, scale.
Around 20 attended the inaugural breakfast, held Friday at City Cafe in Mount Vernon.
“I got to see some companies’ strategies,” said Tim Savage, founder of Talent Attach.
Savage said he got exactly what he thought he was going to get out of the event, and found that many bootstrappers had the same issues he did, like workflow.
“When you’re bootstrapping a company, you end up with operational challenges,” said Mike Krupit, the organizer of the Baltimore event.
Krupit, an entrepreneur and business coach, also organizes the Philadelphia breakfasts. He said the inaugural Baltimore gathering, with more than 30 signed up, was larger than the average Philadelphia get-together. He chalked that up to the event being on the Baltimore Innovation Week schedule.
Bootstrappers Breakfasts are held in 13 cities worldwide — in California, Illinois and even one in Poland. The first breakfast was held in Silicon Valley more than a decade ago.
The attendees at the Baltimore breakfast broke off into three tables, each joined by a moderator who kept the conversation moving. The moderators were there to jump in to prevent soliciting or stop one person from dominating the conversation.
Time management was one of the hot topics at one table. Krupit, who served as one of the moderators, extolled the virtues of time blocking and prioritizing.
“I put exercising first,” he said. “I put all the things that take care of myself.”
Krupit said he also uses phone scheduling services to call him with reminders.
John Devor, COO of Touchpoint Games, said a long to-do list can often leave him overwhelmed and make him “lock up.”
“I get really creative the shorter my to-do list is,” he said.
At another table, Joe Tavarez of Michi Systems in Pikesville lamented the chicken-or-the-egg nature of requiring a physical office in order to obtain a local, state or federal government contract.
“Here I am essentially being forced into a lease before I’ve established a company,” he said. “I’m able to put capital toward that, but it just seems like a waste.”
The next Baltimore breakfast will be held Oct. 21. For more information, visit the Baltimore group’s Meetup page.
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