Jim is the Founding Managing Partner of OCA Ventures. Prior to co-founding OCA Ventures in 2001, Jim oversaw the OCA Ventures Pledge Fund which made direct venture capital investments for the O’Connor Partners Investment Office. Jim has current OCA portfolio responsibilities for Ocient, Alembic, The MOM Project, Prisidio, SumRidge Partners, SpotHero, ArcherEDU (fka Campus Explorer), Impossible Objects, BigStep, Falcon Insurance Group, among others. In addition, Jim serves on the boards of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) as Trustee, Illinois Tech Association (ITA), the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC), 1871, and NU Wave.
Jim has over 25 years of corporate finance, capital markets, and venture capital investment experience. Prior to forming OCA Ventures, Jim traded derivatives at the Chicago Board of Trade and worked in corporate finance with Continental Bank. While at Continental Bank, Jim participated in the structured financing of companies ranging in capital size from $10 million to several billion dollars and in the formation of a $150 million subsidiary to fund mezzanine debt and equity financings.
Jim received a BA in Economics from the University of Rochester and earned his MBA (MM) from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In addition to his responsibilities at OCA Ventures, Jim is a founding member of the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA), where he formerly served five years as Treasurer, Director, and member of the Executive Committee and was the 2013 Fellows Medal recipient. Prior to serving as Treasurer, Jim was the Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the IVCA, in which capacity he helped establish HB 3212 as Illinois law.
Jim is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Chicago Booth GSB. Jim is also a Co-Founder/Treasurer of www.SmartBet.org, and serves as a Regional Ambassador for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation (USOPF). In his free time, Jim enjoys hiking and sports with his wife and four children, trial and error with new recipes, and playing Texas Hold ‘Em.