Mark Fitchmun Featured in San Diego Union-Tribune’s Article on Bootstrappers

SD Bootstrappers ‘eat problems’ for breakfast
Monthly gathering for entrepreneurs focuses on solutions for organic growth
as printed on Dec. 18, 2013

Bootstrappers Breakfast, a networking group that says it “eats problems for breakfast,” wants to pull as many San Diego entrepreneurs in the technology field as possible to the group’s monthly meetings.

Bootstrappers, which was started in 2006 in Silicon Valley, now has chapters around the United States. There are even chapters in Poland. The name comes from a technique for starting a computer system from scratch in a self-sustaining process, according to the group’s website. Hence the group’s focus on founders who are actively “bootstrapping” a startup.

“Our meetings are an opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet and connect with other entrepreneurs, and to receive advice and support,” said Mark Fitchmun, who has been leading the San Diego group for nearly two years. “We do collaborative problem-solving.”

Sharing experience

The group does not focus on connecting with venture capitalists; it emphasizes growing a business through organic profits.

“These meetings are for entrepreneurs to seek knowledge and advice from other entrepreneurs and to share their experience for the benefit of others.” said Fitchmun, founding partner and senior advisor at Somatek Inc.

Topics of conversation include time management, human resources and payroll, marketing and more.

“The more experienced participants can often recommend products and services that were helpful to them in the past (and provide warnings about those which were not),” said Fitchmun.

Issues on the table

Fitchmun said he learned about the group from a colleague who leads a similar network in the Bay Area. San Diego was dormant at the time. “He told me that they were looking for someone to revive the San Diego group, and asked me if I would consider doing it.”

There are currently nearly 400 people registered. At each meeting, group members have a chance to network before taking a seat and ordering food. Each member is given two minutes to tell who they are and what they do, as well as ask for an issue to be put on the list for later discussion.

The list of issues on the table is discussed and then the person who raised the issue or asked the question is given the chance to explain it, and feedback or comments are given by the other members. There are also opportunities for one-on-one chats among the members.

The San Diego Bootstrapper Breakfast meets the last Friday of each month, except for December, at Coco’s Restaurant & Bakery, 4280 Nobel Drive in San Diego. For more information, visit

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