Fred Schmidt (nee Fernando Klemens Jan Borys Czochralski-Schmidt) MBE is Director of International Affairs at Capital Factory, a top U.S. incubator – accelerator – investment fund nurturing over 700 tech startups in downtown Austin Texas. There he oversees Touchdown Austin, a soft landing program for foreign companies seeking to expand into the U.S. market, and Texas scaleups ready for expansion overseas. He also is a co-founder and investor in his 4th videogames tech company, Portalarium. And, concurrently, he is co-founder and CEO of a collection of unique Austin experiential retail businesses in music, fashion, toys and confectionery. Previously, Fred’s career spans over 30 years of management experience in the tech and creative industries in the U.S. and Europe.
Fred also serves the Mayor of Austin as a citizen ambassador in building the thriving tech and creative industries Sister Cities relationship between Austin and the London Borough of Hackney, home to the UK’s flourishing “Tech City” scene – work for which he has been awarded the honor of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He also heads the Austin Chapter of Tech London Advocates.
As a child, Fred was granted asylum in the USA as a political refugee from Poland during the Cold War… grew up in Detroit… and now has been a 28-year resident of Austin, dividing his time between that city, Los Angeles and London.