Jun 20, 2023

An entrepreneurs journey; ShipMonk Founder names new CEO


Just last week, the Founder of ShipMonk, Jan Bednar, announced the company will have a new CEO – Josh McCarter.


Here’s a little about Jan Bednar’s entrepreneurial journey. 


At only 17 years old, Jan Bednar moved to the United States from the Czech Republic to attend Florida Atlantic University and pursue his dream of being an entrepreneur. While at university, his friends back home would ask Jan to purchase American products that were either too expensive or not available in the Czech Republic and ship it to them. Many merchants in the United States also refused to ship to the Czech Republic or their payment method was unaccepted. They would order online, have the products shipped to Jan and then Jan would turn around and ship to them. Jan began to realize the real demand for American products and decided to start a business doing the same thing he already was for family and friends back home.

In 2014 while studying in FAU’s College of Business, Jan entered the FAU Business Plan Competition (now FAU Business Pitch) with his new business idea BedaBox, a DHL partner offering heavily discounted shipping between Europe and the USA that forwards packages to international clients. Out of 250 participants and multiple rounds of judging, BedaBox won!

The pitch competition is hosted by FAU’s Adams Center for Entrepreneurship and encourages FAU students, faculty, staff and recent graduates to pitch their game-changing idea for a chance to fund their new ventures. Along with prize money, teams compete for legal and business services, preferred access into the FAU Tech Runway Venture Program and the opportunity to present their business pitch to local angel, venture capital groups and more.

The following month, Jan was nominated to represent FAU in the state-wide collegiate Business Plan Competition with the Florida Venture Forum. Jan won first place beating other students and business plans from universities from all around Florida.

Winning the competitions, earned Jan over $30k and a spot in the FAU Tech Runway®, a South Florida public-private partnership that serves as a hub to accelerate technology development and incubate startup companies. Tech Runway’s companies can access mentoring, introductions to early-stage capital, grants and seed funding. In addition, they are provided with the tools to become successful entrepreneurs, including a rigorous boot camp, access to business and technology events, and connections to a thriving regional innovation network. BedaBox was included in Venture Class 1 at Tech Runway.

Jan graduated from the College of Business with a major in Management Information Systems in 2014 and in 2016 he transformed BedaBox into ShipMonk. Jan realized that there was a huge opportunity for technology-driven fulfillment services for the small and medium-sized ecommerce companies. Fulfillment takes a lot of time and takes companies away from focusing on growing their business. There were no competitors in the space with user-friendly technology that would support a great customer experience. That’s how the ShipMonk we know now was born.

ShipMonk Opens its 11th State-of-the-Art 3PL Fulfillment ...

According to Jan in an FAU interview, he founded ShipMonk to “change the way eCommerce companies manage their supply chain and ship orders to their customers through a game-changing supply chain software, automation and exceptional fulfillment service. ShipMonk is a technology company that solves ecommerce companies’ biggest problem — fulfillment.”

In late 2015, ShipMonk moved to a 23,000 square foot facility in Pompano Beach. They quickly outgrew this space. By late 2016, ShipMonk moved to a massive 90,000 square foot facility in Deerfield Beach. Additionally, Jan knew that ShipMonk could best serve its customers by operating facilities on both coasts and so the California location was opened.

how-this-immigrant-entrepreneur-built-a-60m-year-fulfillment-businessNow, their South Florida headquarters in Fort Lauderdale is 220k square feet and the entire office is built out of storage containers. It has a full bar, gym, trampoline, game room and is pet friendly. ShipMonk now spans across almost twenty facilities across the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. The company’s total funding now exceeds $365 million. They are continuing to expand their footprint, roll out new technology and take over the industry.

In a recent social media post, Jan announced that after an intense 18-month search, he will be stepping down from CEO and named Josh McCarter as his replacement.

“When I started ShipMonk from my apartment in 2016, I never imagined we would come this far. We started from zero, without any venture funding, to a global presence with over 18 warehouses worldwide spanning some 4,000,000 square feet. Our team has grown to over 2,000 exceptional employees. Together, we have shipped over 100 million orders to customers worldwide, helping thousands of businesses achieve their growth goals. Despite the skeptics, we’ve outperformed traditional and venture-backed fulfillment companies, maintaining profitability while scaling to hundreds of millions of revenue per year,” wrote Jan.

“Most importantly, I was able to share this journey with people I love, admire and deeply care about. Nothing makes me happier and more fulfilled (no pun intended) than remembering the special moments we’ve all shared on this journey.”

To learn more about ShipMonk, visit www.shipmonk.com