James Earl (Jim) Brown III

Senior Advisor


As the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Jim Brown provides leadership in the Office of Technology Commercialization to facilitate the achievement of commercialization objectives and increase the magnitude of startups based upon research at The University of Texas at Austin. He will identify and evaluate technologies suitable for new venture formation in collaboration with inventors and the OTC licensing team; develop business plans to launch promising university new venture opportunities; create pre-seed launch strategies; and identify initial management teams.


Jim brings expertise and a successful track record in private equity and venture capital, as well as experience as a CEO and as a director in several private companies. He serves as the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Office of Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin.  Jim was a General Partner at Polaris Venture Partners, where he identified and led several successful investments, including MarketXT (acquired by E-Trade) and Watchfire (acquired by IBM). He was very active with other Polaris portfolio companies as well, including Avici Systems, Exchange.com (acquired by Amazon), and Akamai Technologies. During Brown’s tenure, Polaris grew from over $85 million to over $3 billion under management. He subsequently served as Managing Director of Virtus Capital Partners, heading the firm’s Private Equity Investment Group.


Brown’s operating experience includes the roles of President & CEO, and as a director at both InvisibleHand Networks and SparkPhone, Inc. He began his career as an investment banker with J.P. Morgan & Co., providing equity and leveraged loan financing in support of acquisitions, investments, and recapitalizations for private equity firms and private companies. He also gained valuable leadership and management experience as a captain and aviator in the U.S. Army. His service included the command of aviation soldiers in the prestigious 101st Airborne Division and the leadership of numerous day and night flight missions patrolling the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the Republic of Korea—duty for which he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal.


Brown holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was President of the student body; a JD from New York University, where he was an Associate Editor of the Law Review, a Root-Tilden Scholar, and an International Fellow; and a BS in Engineering and Political Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was a varsity athlete, and where for four years he made Dean’s List.