James Phelan

Sailing · Travel · mentoring · networking · innovation

About Me

I am an innovator, a thought leader, and a connector for the Houston startup ecosystem. Often described as a "serial entrepreneur" and a "bridge builder," I enjoy sharing valuable insights gained through 20+ years of military and private sector experience. While regularly wearing multiple hats for an array of enterprise, growth, and startup businesses, I contribute a blend of servant leadership, metrics driven analysis, and strategic systems architecture applications across multiple projects simultaneously - Corporate Communications Director for BCV, a global natural resources exporter; COO for Cathexis’ Change Exchange, an Austin-based social impact fund; Consultant to CEDS, an economic development investment (EDI) fund; Founder and CINO for Plāsyn, a "Prop-tech" startup being incubated by the Bunker Labs/We Work "Veterans in Residence" program. I'm also on boards or consult for several other startup companies and startup-focused service providers. Through assisting the regional startup community as the Partnership Director of Startup Grind - Houston and as a Director for The Founder Institute - Texas, I've gained relationships that I enjoy connecting. Other meaningful relationships come from my academic/athletic past in California, lifelong ties to the American northeast, and through frequent travel with my wife and family. I enjoy being an active and dedicated volunteer. Recently I began and participated in Hurricane Harvey and Maria relief and recovery groups nationally (Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico) that have helped directly comfort and feed thousands of families by addressing significant logistical snafus. As a current member of the Board of Directors for FreshArts.org and The Washington Avenue Arts District in Houston, I do my best to celebrate and support the local arts. Over the past 10 years I've participated in and spearheaded numerous initiatives that have served to benefit the arts, urban planning, and economic development/ innovation locally, nationally, and internationally.