William Blair's James O'Connor, Jr., global head of venture capital for the firm, was honored by Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) and 1871 for his leadership within the city's tech community at their 10th annual Momentum Awards event in Chicago on November 2.
O'Connor was named entrepreneurial champion for his dedication in helping to grow and the support Chicago tech community. He chaired the CEC Board, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs, since its inception in 2002. CEC's first flagship project was 1871, an incubator for start-ups housed in the Merchandise Mart.
"Helping the neighborhoods where we live and work is an important focus of ours, and it has been a pleasure to be at the leading edge of creating the innovative and thriving entrepreneurial nexus Chicago has become," O'Connor said. "Now as the Momentum Awards Dinner marks 10 years, it is clearer than ever that our community here in Chicago is among the strongest in the world. I'm humbled to have supported its growth over the course of my career."
O'Connor is a senior investment professional with over 20 years of private equity and venture capital experience. He joined William Blair in 2014 and is responsible for leading the firm's advisory services among venture capital firms, corporate venture groups, and entrepreneurial hubs across multiple industries in domestic and international markets.
William Blair, a global investment banking and asset management firm, is based in Chicago, and together with its strategic partners, operates in more than 20 offices worldwide.