Bootstrap Maryland: A Conference For Entrepreneurs

Bootstrap Maryland

A group of technopreneurs made it out to the University of Maryland campus for Bootstrap Maryland.The aim of the conference is to teach budding entrepreneurs “the necessary tools for running a lean and successful technology business.” The event had 4 main panels covering a variety of topics from marketing and public relations to picking the right technology. I learned a lot from the anecdotes of the local entrepreneur panelists. While I ‘m more HTML than MBA, the event inspired me to keep thinking about the business angle on the projects I take on.

Panelists of the third session at Bootstrap Maryland

Panelists of the third session at Bootstrap Maryland

Since every seat in the business school lecture hall had a power plug and the WiFi was strong throughout the entire event, I managed to take a copious amount of notes on my wiki. Here are some of the highlights:

  • When it comes to a business plan, do you need one? Whole panel answers “Meehh… not really.”
  • Recessions are a great time to start a business because everything is cheaper and there is a ton of talent available.
  • Businesses don’t fail because of the technology, businesses fail because they don’t understand their market.
  • How to better understand your market: Experiment, Evaluate, adapt.
  • MYTH: Experience in the corporate world translates to the start-up world. The start up world is a totally different beast.
  • Want to get rich quickly? Rob a bank. Sell crack. Don’t start a company.
  • Best brand right now is “swine flu”, “susan boyle”
  • If considering outsourcing, go with a brand name firm.
  • Don’t under-estimate the value of play.
  • The MD/DC/VA area has tons of groups and events

That last point is big. If you are looking for a local group of people who are interested in media/technology/business, the DC metropolitan area has something for you. After all, where else would 200 people get together to share ideas and stories about starting businesses on the cheap on a Saturday. Jared Goralnick did a great job organizing everything and I would expect the attendance to double for the next one.

Jared Goralnick polls the audience of Bootstrap MD

Jared Goralnick polls the audience of Bootstrap MD

Drinking a Diet Coke with pizza and salad for lunch.

Drinking a Diet Coke with pizza and salad for lunch.

Genius Rocket (lunch sponsor) distributes fliers while everyone is out in the hallway eating pizza.

Genius Rocket (lunch sponsor) distributes fliers while everyone is out in the hallway eating pizza.

Panelists mingle with the audience after the 2nd session at Bootstrap MD

Panelists mingle with the audience after the 2nd session at Bootstrap MD

More of my photos from Bootstrap MD: Picasa / Flickr / Facebook

Other coverage of Bootstrap MD:

More Photos From Kristina’s Graduation

On May 23rd, Kristina graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with two B.A. degrees. One was in Communication Studies and the other in Art Studio – Graphic Design. I took a photo and posted it from my mobile phone on that day but here are the rest of the pictures from the day.

Kristina in disbelief that she is finally graduating.
Kristina in disbelief that she is finally graduating.

On stage with diploma in hand.
On stage with diploma in hand.

Walking back to her seat.
Walking back to her seat.

A picture of the happy family.
A picture of the happy family.

My turn in front of the camera.
My turn in front of the camera.

Flowers, diploma, and mortar board! Oh My!
Flowers, diploma, and mortar board! Oh My!

Kristina\'s aunt got her a garland.
Kristina's aunt got her a garland.

Showing off her stoll.
Showing off her stoll.

Posing by the sign to mark graduation day.
Posing by the sign to mark graduation day.

The whole shebang.
The whole shebang.

Now comes the job search. Stay tuned…