Jim Cohen, '86

Position
GradFUTURES Learning Cohort Facilitator
Role
GradFUTURES Forum Facilitator
Bio/Description

Jim is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Fitz Gate Ventures. Jim and Mark Poag lead the Venture Capital & Startup Learning Cohort for the Graduate School. In collaboration with the Keller Center and the Princeton Entrepreneur Council, the learning cohort introduces graduate students to the world of venture capital and start-ups and facilitates connections to the broader innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem at Princeton and beyond. Since 2018, this learning cohort has inspired many graduate students to transform their ideas and discoveries into meaningful real-world solutions with significant social, economic— and human impact.

Jim is also an Adjunct Professor/Lecturer at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business where he teaches a class on venture capital investing. Jim volunteers as a member of the Keller Center’s eLab Advisory Committee and as a mentor to the Princeton Entrepreneurship Council. Jim has previously served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Alumni Council of Princeton University and one term as Vice Chair of the Princeton Schools Committee and ten years as Chair of the Princeton Alumni Schools Committee of Houston, Texas.

Fitz Gate Ventures invests a majority of its capital in early-stage companies from the Princeton ecosystem. Typical initial check size is $500K with additional capital reserved for follow-on rounds. Fitz Gate is investing out of its second fund and currently has $25 million under management. Fitz Gate’s portfolio companies have been profiled in the New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, Vogue and other media outlets. Fitz Gate invests alongside other world-class VC firms but is also willing to lead and/or invest alone. Fitz Gate’s strategy is to leverage its Friends of Fitz network of alumni and faculty to help its portfolio companies succeed.

 Prior to co-founding Fitz Gate, Jim was the head of M&A for an NYSE listed company which he grew through acquisition until it was sold to the leading public company in its sector. Before that he was a founding partner in the private equity fund Main Street Capital (NYSE: MAIN), and before that he was a private equity and mergers and acquisitions lawyer with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in NYC and London and with Baker Botts in Houston. Jim began his career as a financial analyst with Morgan Stanley in NYC.