Dr. James Guenther is a native of New Orleans and attended Southeastern Louisiana University before moving on to a doctorate in biochemistry from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. As a research scientist he has published novel findings in multiple fields such as: plant aquaporin structure and function, plant defense responses, lung disease, and inflammasome inflammation responses. After hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, he moved back home to help rebuild and rebrand New Orleans as a technology and innovation center. As such, he has been able to develop a biotechnology program at a local community college while serving as the Principal Investigator (PI) on a National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education (NSFATE) proposal. Over the years, working with the NSFATE has broadened his understanding of the technology driven industries on a global scale and allowed him to interact with national programs such as: advanced manufacturing technologies, agricultural and bio-technologies, energy and environmental technologies, engineering technologies, information technologies, micro- and nano-technologies, security technologies, and geospatial technologies. These experiences have helped him naturally transition to serving both academic and private industry development needs in the biotechnology sector. In December 2018, Dr. Guenther was appointed chapter director for Startupgrind New Orleans. Startupgrind and its partnership with Google for Startups is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting more than 1,500,000 entrepreneurs in over 500 chapters and over 125 countries. He is very excited and honored to be representing an entity that has helped millions of entrepreneurs build their businesses, connect with strategic partners, and secure funding.