James got an early start in science research, and in 2001 he received a 1st Place award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, California. He was also selected as one of only two students to represent the United States at the MILSET International Sciences-Expo in Grenoble, France. He has conducted independent research in the fields of particle physics and materials science, and contributed cheap manual labor to the fabrication of the calorimeter cooling systems now in operation in the ATLAS particle collider at CERN.
In 2002, James received a full-tuition scholarship to Bucknell University along with a 4-year Presidential Fellowship Research Grant. During this time, he finished in the top 15% worldwide in the International Mathematical Contest in Modeling. He began his undergraduate studies as a Physics and Mathematics major, but instead grew a beard and completed his B.A. in Philosophy and Music in 2006. He studied guitar and performed occasionally in an Indonesian percussion group. James has run a 4:45 mile, founded his collegiate roller hockey team, and has an 8-and-2 record as an amateur boxer.
James’ parents were thrilled with his decision to major in Philosophy, but instead of taking their advice to “go open a philosophy store” he began his career as a professional poker player immediately after college. He spent three years playing 18 tables of fixed-limit hold’em online before the US government implemented the UIGEA. He credits the 1,000,000+ hands of experience he accumulated for his skills in analytical reasoning, money management, risk assessment, detection of nonverbal cues, and strategic decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.
In 2008, James committed a year of service to AmeriCorps and spent his time with FIRST Robotics supporting technology education programs in the Philadelphia school district. He also conducted outreach presentations at national conferences and worked to acquire funding for grants and scholarships for students from low-income households.
In 2012, James received his J.D. from the American University, Washington College of Law. While there he was the Secretary of the Intellectual Property Law Society and a Senior Columnist for the Intellectual Property Brief. He was also a Student Attorney for the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic where he counseled documentary filmmakers and music producers on issues of copyright clearance, releases, licenses, and fair use. He also participated on a team that drafted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court at the petition level for Myriad Genetics v. ACLU.
During his last year of law school, James was a Legal Analyst at the patent defense firm RPX Corporation. There he designed and implemented research methods on International Trade Commission investigations for the Executive VP to enhance clients’ strategic intelligence in litigation against non-practicing entities. He also constructed representations, warranties, and covenants-not-to-sue for the Chief IP Officer to properly allocate risk in patent purchase agreements and license agreements ranging in value from $1-$8 million.
Now he’s a VC at Bullpen, hoping to be statistically significant despite comprising a sample size of one.