Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network North Carolina Strengthens Resources with Addition of Kathryn James as Program Director

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network North Carolina is continuing in its mission to strengthen the Triangle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by adding 25-year business development veteran Kathryn James to its team of talented professionals and mentors. James joined the organization this summer as Program Director, working with the Network’s tightly connected team of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and Blackstone Fellows as a liaison for the entrepreneurs and University communities in addition to partners such as the CED, First Flight Venture Center and HQ Raleigh. 


“Kathryn’s background as an entrepreneur and her extensive network and connections bring immense value to our organization as we seek to continue strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem through increasing dealmaker connections and the number of investment-ready startups and jobs here in the Triangle,” said Bob Creeden, executive director of the Network.

James’ extensive professional experience has enabled her to hit the ground running, Creeden explained, serving as a resource for Network companies due to her understanding of what it takes to start and grow a company, in addition to her working knowledge of and connections with the players within the diverse Triangle business community.

The former Director of Entrepreneurship at CED, James has founded or co-founded businesses in the areas of software, continuing care, and development sustainability. Her extensive experience as a founder and in management consulting in both gazelle and international companies at Accenture and Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Consulting gives her in-the-seat experience with senior management, business infrastructure, and merger integration responsibilities. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Math from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Landscape Architecture, Sustainable Landscape Architecture and Planning from NC State University School of Design.

“I was drawn to the Network primarily because of the exceptional quality of the entire team and its emphasis on providing measurable deliverables to the Network companies and entrepreneurs,” James said, adding, “The goal of the Network is to help the state’s most promising technology-driven opportunities grow more quickly. In the process, we create jobs, prosperity and a brighter future for the state.”

The organization provides tactical and strategic guidance, connections to investment, and a team of successful Entrepreneurs In Residence and Fellows who work with emerging companies looking to scale and be leaders in the RTP area. 

For more information on the Network visit www.bennorthcarolina.com.

About the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina
The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network of North Carolina was launched in 2011 with a gift from The Blackstone Charitable Foundation. The Network’s mission is to help catalyze the regional development of the Triangle’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and thereby strengthen economic development in the area. The Network harnessed the talent of a regional pool of veteran entrepreneurs, and in 2012 created a tightly connected team of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) to help identify marketable innovations out of area universities and regional startups with the greatest potential to become high-growth companies. EIRs work one-on-one and as a team with local companies and entrepreneurs and help them achieve significant business milestones, make connections to their network of experts and funders, and provide access to the broader Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. Network portfolio companies enjoy access to sector experts, venture coaches, angel investors and marketing support provided by Network Fellows. The Network supports its Partners (UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, NC State, NC Central University, CED) and the Triangle entrepreneurial community through sponsorship and participation in regional entrepreneurship events, providing Network expertise through panels and conferences, and maximizing Network impact through strategic partnerships and community outreach.