Voice, Acoustics & Imagery.
Machine Learning, Disruptive Technology.
Located in New York City, James F. Kenefick is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and noteworthy executive who has spent the last 25-plus years gaining expertise as a chairman, CEO, and a force to be reckoned with within the technology sector.
James was born in New York City, where he spent his first five years of his life before moving to the foothills of Connecticut. He then spent his formative years on a farm in Vermont. James, the son of an aeronautical-aerospace engineer and an ER nurse, aspired to forge his own path to a fulfilling career, regardless of the challenges such a road-less-traveled would inherently poise. As such, he committed to laying a solid foundation for the journey ahead. By age 7, James had obtained his amateur radio license, and was fluent in Morse Code and Ohm’s Law, all while beating his father at chess in the evenings after a long day of farm work.
A graduate of Babson College, James F. Kenefick earned a dual Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Entrepreneurial Studies. During his time in undergraduate school, James excelled in his course work, sought mentorship from distinguished faculty members, and diversified his interests, playing on the college’s rugby team, swimming, skiing, playing tennis and golf, and serving as a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon.
Upon concluding this first leg of his academic career, James traveled to Japan to take a graduate course in Japanese culture and management. From there, he went on to work at EMC Corporation while it was still a private company. During his tenure, James had the opportunity to experience the EMC’s meteoric rise to success, as well as its transition to a publicly-traded company, and was instrumental in developing its nationwide direct sales force.
After accruing vital, hands-on business experience, James F. Kenefick decided to pursue and complete the Entrepreneurial Masters Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Concurrently, James joined Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization (YEO) — now Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). Having been a member for years, James has served in many capacities — from Chapter Chair in Washington, DC, to being elected to the International Board of Directors.
Throughout these experiences, James gleaned invaluable insight into what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur, the value of building a great corporate culture and developing a strong network. James keeps in mind the leadership and entrepreneurial insights it takes to be adaptable and nimble throughout one’s ventures.
Needless to say, James F. Kenefick took these principles and ran with them, applying them to every applicable situation that arose throughout the early stages of his career in technology, media, and telecom (TMT). Possessing such knowledge at such a young age set James apart from the others in his field and thus opened the door to opportunities he would never have thought possible.
Over the course of his career, James has had the honor of creating an organization with more than 650 employees and a sales force comprised of over 220 individuals across 22 offices, valued at over $750 million in market capitalization. He co-led three companies from the start-up phase, raising over $500 million in capital to achieve revenue growth of $15, $30, and $100 million in less than 10 years. Furthermore, he has completed over $150 million in transactions for 10 technology companies. James was a two-time Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, and received multiple Inc. 500 / Inc. 5,000 awards along the way.
Now, James F. Kenefick serves as Managing Partner of Azafran Capital Partners (ACP), an early-stage venture capital firm that specializes in voice, acoustic, and imagery modalities that are critical with machine learning and artificial intelligence. The venture fund, which James established in early 2017, places an emphasis on disruptively solving difficult issues within very large markets in the spheres of health/wellness & IoT/enterprise. With his guidance, ACP has assembled a world-class team of industry leaders, partners, and talented specialists to orchestrate deep research, strategic execution, capital formation, while building and maintaining of a thriving corporate culture. Additionally, James is a very active, 20-year member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) Network of 28,000 CEOs representing over $8 trillion in revenue — arguably the third-largest economy in the world — which is curated to create immediate impact and lasting value for our partnerships and investments. And we all know how valuable having accomplished subject-matter experts are in building and scaling early-stage companies!
On this website, James F. Kenefick will be sharing insights into the realms of business and entrepreneurship, as well as technology’s relationship with both. Should you be interested in learning more, be sure to check back frequently for updates.