Come and hear the entrepreneur journey of how one immigrant college student built an e-commerce logistics unicorn. Why is college the best time to be inspired to solve a problem?
The journey began when, at the tender age of thirteen, Jan began working as a DJ -- one of the first signs of his entrepreneurial spirit. By the age of seventeen, he moved to the United States to learn English and go to school in pursuit of the American dream. Shortly after moving to the States from the Czech Republic, Jan became everybody’s best friend back home. After family and friends found out he had access to American products from brands that didn’t ship internationally, they began requesting he send them items from companies like Nike and Victoria Secret.
The demand for these American goods became so high that Jan quickly realized he could make some money and turned these favors into a profitable business which he ran right out of his dorm room. During this time and while attending college at Florida Atlantic University, he entered and ultimately won a pair of business plan competitions which awarded him both money and business services geared towards helping young start-ups.
Following his graduation in 2014, Jan propelled his package forwarding business even further by participating in FAU’s Tech Runway accelerator program. While attending Tech Runway and learning more about the antiquated shipping industry, Jan identified an opportunity to work directly with eCommerce companies. With a focus on revolutionizing the order fulfillment industry, he launched ShipMonk, a technology-driven third-party logistics provider that offers solutions to SMBs enabling them to focus on the things that matter most to scaling their business.
Jan’s tech-first approach has taken hold well: ShipMonk has hit major revenue milestones, growing from $130,000 in 2014 to over $145M in sales in 2020. This trajectory was achieved despite being entirely bootstrapped.
ShipMonk is on a mission to create a completely scalable global platform for DTC brands to compete with large companies and provide them with the technology tools as well as complete supply chain management solutions to truly be their partner and further accelerate their growth.
ShipMonk currently employs over 1,000 people between its Prague engineering office, and Florida, California and Pennsylvania warehouses. Jan continues to work relentlessly on further enhancing ShipMonk’s technology solutions, warehouse automation, and accelerated growth -- a goal that has recently been greatly facilitated by raising $290 million in growth equity funding led by global growth investor, Summit Partners! The financing represents a minority stake in the business and will help fuel global expansion starting with opening a flagship European warehouse in Q2 of 2021 and a south-central warehouse in the US.