James Chou

Start-up Technology Executive

James Chou.

James Chou, ECE BS ’84, is a start-up tech executive and seed-stage investor. With over 20 years of experience in technology innovations, Chou advises entrepreneurs and start-up ventures on their digital product development strategies and scale their startup.

Chou was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Splice Music, Inc, a platform for music creators that streamlines music creation and sharing. Splice has the largest collection of audio samples for royalty-free use. 

Chou also served as CTO of Kabbage, an American Express company, which offers the only fully automated, online lending platform that provides billions in funding to small businesses and consumers. Chou oversaw the product development of the company’s data-driven financial products and data organization that uses AI/Machine Learning for loan/risk determination.

Before Kabbage, Chou was the CTO at WorkMarket, an ADP company and award-winning marketplace of freelancers & B2B platform. WorkMarket’s SaaS cloud platform is used by thousands of mid-size businesses to connect with freelancers and manage hundreds of millions in payments. As CTO, James set WorkMarket’s technology direction and led all aspects of the company’s early-stage technological development, including their WorkOS cloud platform.  

Chou also served as the CTO at Shutterstock (NYSE:SSTK), a global provider of stock photography, stock footage, stock music and editing tools. As Shutterstock's CTO, his role was to both scale and drive the architecture of Shutterstock's cloud library of 150 million royalty free assets for usage - with 30 million monthly visitors across 150 countries. James was part of the executive team that scale Shutterstock business in its early days that led to IPO in '12, a success story of an NYC startup.

Chou served as SVP and CTO at American Greetings Interactive. In this role, he oversaw the company’s technology vision, led product development for all online greeting cards brands with over 100M unique visitors annually and over 350M greeting cards sent. James received relentless innovator awards and a #19 spot on Informationweek 500 in ‘09.  

Chou graduated from UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences with a degree in electrical engineering and a minor in computer science. He was a member of the Chinese Student Association (CSA) and an MC at UB's international festival. He began his technical career as a semi-custom silicon chip engineer, and later took on the role of consulting engineer at Apple. He was a Vice President at JP Morgan on Wall Street delivering business systems for the investment bank. His roots in engineering at UB gave him the foundational skills needed to become successful in a constantly evolving technology landscape.  

Chou holds an MBA from Duke FUQUA School of Business. He is a member of the Board of Advisors at Duke University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and innovation. He lives in New York City and enjoys photography, golfing and paying forward.

Mr. Chou joined the Dean's Advisory Council in 2017.