About James D. Robinson IV: American venture capitalist, entrepreneur (1962-) | Biography, Facts, Career, Life
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James D. Robinson IV
American venture capitalist, entrepreneur

James D. Robinson IV

James D. Robinson IV
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American venture capitalist, entrepreneur
A.K.A. James D. Robinson, Jim Robinson
Is Investor Financial professional Venture capitalist
From United States of America
Field Business Finance
Gender male
Birth 13 June 1962, New York City, New York
Age 60 years
Star sign Gemini
Residence New York City, New York
Father: James D. Robinson III
The details


James D. Robinson IV (James D. Robinson, or Jim Robinson, born June 13, 1962) is an American venture capitalist and entrepreneur. He is the Co-founder Managing partner of the New York-based venture capital firm RRE Ventures. 

Early life and education

James D. Robinson IV was born on 13 June 1962 in New York City, New York. He was raised in Sun Valley, Idaho. The family later returned to New York where he attended Robert Louis Stevenson School for high school. In his late teens he drove a NYC Taxi.

In the years 1981-1986, he attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Computer Science. Four years later, in 1990, he enrolled at the Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts and graduated with an MBA in 1992.


Early career

While a student at Antioch College, he founded IV Systems. The firm developed unix-based applications for Fortune Systems workstations. He then joined JP Morgan & Company as a Senior Associate in 1986 and worked with them until 1990 when he began attending Harvard Business School. While a student at Harvard, he interned at Hambrecht & Quist Venture Capital and became the firm's Vice President & General Partner after graduation.

RRE Ventures

Robinson left H&Q Venture Capital towards the end of 1994 to co-found Sunset Partners, a New York-based technology venture capital firm, with former Harvard classmate Stuart J. Ellman. Sunset Partners was later renamed to RRE Ventures. His father, James D. Robinson III, former CEO of American Express, joined them full-time in 1996.

Among the firm's notable investments are Avant, Betaworks, Braintree, BroadSoft, Business Insider, Buzzfeed, Cyota, Concur, Extricity, eMachines, GiGa Information Group, Goldpocket, iCrossing, Kroll Bond Ratings, Loudeye, Makerbot, Massive, MessageOne, Metapath, Netcentives, Nexsan, OnDeck, Proofpoint, Quirky, Qpass, Recyclebank, Revolution Money, Rubric, Smartpay, ScreamingMedia, Taleo, Taqua, Telocity, Vastera, Venmo, Vine, Vocera, Watchguard, WeddingChannel, Whiptail, and WisdomTree Investments.

RRE Ventures has provided $1.5 billion of venture capital financing to over two hundred fifty companies since its 1994 founding. Direct investments associated with Robinson include Broadsoft (BSFT), GoldPocket/Wireless (Tandberg/Motricity), iCrossing (Hearst), Metapath (Marconi), Mixed Signals (Tektronix), Orchestria (Computer Associates), Red Brick (REDB), RevolutionMoney (American Express), Rubric (Broadbase), SmartPay (Ping An Insurance), SmarterKids (SKDS), Telocity (Hughes), Vastera (VAST), Vocera (VCRA), WeddingChannel (TheKnot.com), and WisdomTree Investments (WETF). Robinson has also founded or co-founded several other companies, including Abra, Symposia Group, InterVideo Response, and IV Systems. He is the inventor of the Quirky Switch.


Robinson had also previously worked at the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the Washington DC office of the 1984 Ronald Reagan-George H. W. Bush Campaign, and General Electric.

He has been a director of many private and several public companies, and has been listed on the Forbes Midas List of top venture capital investors. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Empire State Realty Trust (owner of the Empire State Building and other properties - NYSE: ESRT), along with several non-profit organizations, including the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the National Organization on Drug Abuse Problems. He is a Director of the Partnership for New York City Investment Fund.

In addition, Robinson has lectured at several universities, including the City University of New York, Columbia University, Harvard Business School, New York University, Stanford University, and the Wharton School.

Robinson was the recipient of a 2007 Lewis Rudin Award in New York City.

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