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The Capital Guru

I am not sure there has been a group that brings this many years of experience, depth of leadership, and success advising and investing in event businesses, and in all types of VC, PE and public companies.

The ability to have fun and work with great people while growing businesses is what drives me. The events’ industry is dynamic, fast-paced and growth-oriented, so there is an incredible opportunity to launch, support and scale great ideas…and being able to do it with people you admire and respect makes it an amazing place to operate.

Joe's Story

Joe Popolo is the Founder and CEO of Charles & Potomac Capital, LLC, a private investment firm focused on investments in technology, healthcare, media, energy, and real estate. With more than 50 investments in VC and PE funds, operating businesses, and credit and energy funds, Charles & Potomac provides capital and management expertise to leading businesses around the globe. 


From 1997 to 2019, Joe helped transform the Freeman Company into the world's leading live event and brand experience company. As its president for eight years and CEO for 11 years, Joe and his team transformed Freeman and tripled it in size to $3 billion in revenue, expanding Freeman into new services and geographic markets, while leading 7,500 employees in 25 cities on four continents. Responsible for over $1.5 billion in M&A activity over his career, in 2019, Joe led the team that marketed and sold Freeman's Encore Event Technology subsidiary to Blackstone, creating the world's largest venue-based audio-visual company. Joe also served on Freeman’s Board of Directors for 18 years and chaired its Finance Committee.


Currently, Joe is Chairman of the board of Pinnacle Live, LLC and a board member of Ondas Networks, and sits on the advisory boards of the Jordan Edmiston Group Inc., Samesurf Inc., and Advisory Research Inc.


Joe graduated from Boston College with a BS in Finance and from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an MBA in Finance and Economics, subsequently receiving a Dean’s Award of Distinction from the Booth School of Business in 1997.


He is active in many educational, philanthropic, and charitable organizations, including the Shea Center for Entrepreneurship at Boston College, the Board of Regents at Boston College, the Executive Board of the Cox School of Business at SMU, the HALO Initiative for Catholic Education, and the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums. He is an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner, and the Dallas Business Journal recognized him as a winner of its Most Admired CEO Award. In 2018, he was recognized with the John P. Curley 2013 Award honoring an outstanding alumnus and supporter of BC Athletics. In 2022, Joe and several BC alums founded the Friends of the Heights, Boston College’s official NIL collective.

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