John James On His Transition from Acumen CEO

February 6, 2015

John James, founder of IA client firm and ecommerce giant Acumen Brands of Fayetteville, confirmed this week to the City Wire that he has transitioned from Acumen CEO to focus on his work with NewRoad Ventures of Bentonville.

Plus, he wants to help establish a $5 million entrepreneurial residency program at the UA.

NewRoad is a VC fund whose team includes James, Clete Brewer (IA client BlueInGreen) and Ryan Frazier (IA's DataRank). James told the City Wire the team's raised about 30 percent  of its $100 million goal.

James, by the way, took part in The Summit panel discussion Thursday at Cross Church in Rogers, as did Rick West of IA client Field Agent. Plus, James moderarted the recent UA Business Forecast Luncheon in Rogers. 

He retains the title of Acumen founder and remains an investor and board member.

Here's more on James' new roles from the City Wire:

James is working with a group of local investors to raise $5 million toward funding an entrepreneurial residency program with a goal of creating a viable startup each month.

“Given that Acumen is on an upward trek, it has given me the opportunity to look back at the innovation stage of companies, which is what I am most excited about,” James said. “I wanted to get back into the community and mentor some of these startup founders and get some capital funding around them and teach this young class of entrepreneurs about how to start a business.”...

...On Thursday, James had little more to offer on his plans to raise $100 million in capital venture funds in cooperation with Newroad Ventures...

“It’s too early for details, but I will say the region really needs this type of fund and I want to be a part of it however it shakes out. I want to help with the fundraising and the advocacy of it.”

Full story here

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