Martin Bshouty is the CCO at Geofilter Studio, the largest supplier of Snapchat filters in the world
BY: KEILA DEPAPE
Running a multi-million-dollar company isn’t a realistic two-year plan for most recent grads, but that’s exactly what happened for one Red River College (RRC) Graphic Design graduate.
Martin Bshouty, 24, is the chief creative officer at Geofilter Studio, a Winnipeg-based company that’s become the largest supplier of Snapchat geofilters in the world.
The mere concept of placing filters over images and sending them through smartphones was in its infancy when Bshouty started college in 2013.
At that time, the digital aspect of RRC’s Graphic Design program was also new.
“It was literally the year Adobe started using Creative Cloud instead of hard disks,” Bshouty laughed.
While he didn’t exactly have a leg up in terms of tech knowledge, he did have savvy collaborators.
Geofilter Studio founder Chris Schmitt pitched the idea to Bshouty in 2016.
Since then, the agency has grown to about 80 employees, with about 20 being RRC grads.
“They’re incredible—super talented people,” said Bshouty, adding many come from RRC’s Digital Media Design program.
The team already outgrew their first office space and expanded to an entire floor in the St. James area.
Trailblazing in an industry that barely existed before is what secured their spot in the marketplace so fast, said Bshouty.
“We jumped on this idea so soon, it was an empty world at first. As time went on, we prepared for Snapchat’s feature to get bigger and bigger,” he said.
“We were the biggest and only [agency] so people just gravitated toward us.”
For Bshouty, the wildest part of the journey has been “constantly doing something so new, where every decision you make is a pinnacle decision because you don’t have someone who’s done it before,” he said.
Geofilter Studio plans on venturing further into unchartered territory, said Bshouty, who said the team is in talks with Apple, Facebook and Snapchat about app development, messaging platforms and more.
Right now, 99 per cent of Geofilter Studio clients are international, but if you want to see their work just take a snap in the Exchange District and you’ll swipe through a banner showing the Cube and two character buildings in a circular design.