Josef Schmidt

CEO in Raleigh, North Carolina

Josef Schmidt

CEO in Raleigh, North Carolina

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Joe is an entrepreneur, investor, and teacher. His passion is applying the knowledge accumulated over 20 years of launching ecommerce start-ups to mentorship, humanitarian efforts and teaching.

Most recently, Joe launched Freedom United (www.freedomunited.org), now the world’s largest anti-slavery movement. With the latest digital advocacy tools, a global network of more than 70 non-profits, and a community of over 8 million supporters, Freedom United has launched more than 100 campaigns that have touched every country around the world and brought about real change to end human trafficking and modern slavery.

An Indiana native, Joe attended Ball State University’s acclaimed Entrepreneurship program. Next was an MBA from Boston College before beginning his career in advertising. His first startup was a touch screen kiosk business building airport check-ins and retail gift registries. He then became Director of Sales for internet phenom, Art.com. However, quickly headed back out on his own and co-founded Canvas on Demand taking the company from startup to #283 on the INC 500 list of fastest growing companies in America. This earned him a spot as a finalist in the Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

After selling Canvas on Demand to online custom products leader CafePress, he continued to serve as Chief Marketing Officer until 2013. As CMO, he helped take CafePress public and led five successful acquisitions.

Along with his business partner Tom Lotrecchiano, he co-authored Entremanureship, a book about the real life challenges of starting businesses that “challenges the notion that owning a company is a celebrity world of glitz and glamour.” Currently he is involved with: GetStealz.com, FotoSwipe, CulturesForHealth.com, FilterEasy.com and CustomerHD.

In 2013, Joe shifted focus towards applying his digital marketing expertise to the global abolition movement fighting for more than 40 million people trapped in modern slavery.

Joe has spoken and consulted with organizations, corporations and conferences around the world, including the United Nations University, Crowdsourcing Week and eTail. He has inspired and motivated audiences by sharing his experiences using digital tools to engaging the public on behalf of humanitarian efforts as well as ecommerce.

Joe has served newhope church for 16 years in North Carolina where he lives with his wonderful wife of 20 years and three remarkable daughters.

  • Work
    • Freedom United
  • Education
    • Ball State University
    • Boston Gollege
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