Mon, 24 May 2021
In this episode, Hall welcomes Jim Thomas, Partner at Kirenaga Partners.
Kirenaga is a Japanese term used to describe a knife or sword blade. It literally translates to the duration of sharpness or amount of edge retention.
Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Kirenaga Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on building great businesses from cutting-edge technologies. They invest in early-stage venture companies that have developed products and are on the verge of initial commercialization, at the stage they call “Post-Technical Validation and Pre-Commercialization.”
Kirenaga Partners were drawn to the term Kirenaga because it represents the principles they aspire to embody as a company – to find and maintain a distinctive edge in everything they do. It takes a commitment to excellence and great craftsmanship to balance the metallic properties of hardness and toughness to create a blade with high “kirenaga.”
Jim has an extensive background working with non-profits, specifically those aligned with supporting new technologies in and around the Central Florida area. His focus at Kirenaga is enhancing investor relations, helping portfolio companies navigate pitch competitions, and spreading the word about the incredible growth of the Florida startup ecosystem.
Since moving to Orlando in 2011, Jim has been a staunch advocate and supporter of its ecosystem. He was the President of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, one of the highest awarded COC's in the country, where he worked to shed light on how quickly the Orlando region was becoming a global leader in not only entertainment and tourism but the ideal place to start, grow, or relocate a business. After working with the Chamber for a few years, Jim left to become CEO of the Central Florida Tech Alliance, where he could focus on fostering the continued growth of the region’s tech ecosystem by advocating for the tech community as well as inspiring collaboration between established businesses and startups.
Jim holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California. His current philanthropic efforts include being a Board Member of Project Opioid, a non-profit committed to curbing opioid misuse and deaths across the state of Florida.
Jim discusses the state of the venture capital industry and what he thinks will be the biggest change in how startups are funded. He shares his investment thesis and advises startups and investors.
Music courtesy of Bensound.