Title and Organization:
Jim O'Connor is a senior investment professional with over a decade of private equity and venture capital experience. He currently serves as Managing Director and Global Head of Venture Capital for William Blair & Co. and was formerly Managing Director of MVC Capital in Chicago. Prior to becoming a Managing Director of MVC Capital in 2008, Jim held senior management positions within Motorola, Inc. In 2003, Jim founded Early Stage Accelerator (ESA) for Motorola and became its Vice President. In that role he was responsible for assessing new technologies within Motorolas Research and Development Labs and business divisions and creating new businesses through their internal venture capital arm. Prior to founding ESA, Jim was the Managing Director of Motorola Ventures, the venture capital investment arm for Motorola, which he founded in 1999. He also led Motorola's Technology Acceleration Program where he worked closely with a global team of technologists, to prioritize technology programs, create value from intellectual property, and guide creative research from innovation through early-stage commercialization. Prior to this he served for a year in the U.S. government as a White House Fellow assigned to Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers in the areas of Domestic and International Finance. During this fellowship, he was responsible for coordinating strategies on electronic commerce and community development policy, as well as bank regulation. Prior to this, Jim worked as a Management Consultant with the global management consultancy A.T. Kearney of Chicago and also held roles at Ariel Capital Management and Sidley & Austin. Jim is Co-Chair of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC), and a Board member of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Urban League, the Big Shoulders Fund for the Archdiocese of Chicago's inner-city school fund and serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Field Museum of National History. He is also the founder of the Field Associates and the Lyric Opera Auxiliary Board. Jim has been a Leadership Fellow in both the U.S.-Japan Foundation and Leadership Greater Chicago. In 2006, Jim was named to the American Ventures Magazine "40 UNDER 40" list. Jim received his BA in Government and JD from Georgetown University and holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a 2004 Henry Crown Fellows of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.