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EDJX Profile: Bold Horses Demand World-Class Jockeys

VCapital Team, July 23, 2020

At VCapital, we believe that the jockey can be even more important than the horse. Introducing a key jockey at EDJX, VCapital’s latest portfolio company: James Thomason, the venture’s Chief Technology Officer.

EDJX’s mission is bold and exciting: build the world’s largest Edge Cloud, with unprecedented reach, simplicity, and security, to enable the full potential of those one trillion Internet-of-Things devices anticipated within the next five years. A horse like that demands world-class jockeys.  

A Remarkable Resume

Thomason has been involved in 14 start-ups, many as a co-founder and most as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Nine of those 14 start-ups have been acquired and two have resulted in IPO’s, for a combined total of over $1 billion. The other three are still operating as freestanding companies. And, Thomason is just 41 years old. 

A Life Story That Is Even More Remarkable

We heard tales about Thomason that we thought must be exaggerations, so we reached out to him for the facts. 

We’d heard that he took apart a television at five years old just to see how it worked. Thomason corrected our misimpression. He may have already been six years old when this happened. 

As for building a ham radio business at age 13 and generating the profits needed to buy his first car? Not exactly true, but by the time he was 15, he had built an Internet Service Provider that did pay for his early interest in owning cars. 

James Thomason dropped out of high school in his native Alabama at 15. (Incidentally, Apple CEO Tim Cook also grew up in a small town in Alabama.) At 17, he headed to Silicon Valley to begin his career and tackle those 14 start-ups. 

Despite his lack of academic credentials, which he plans to address so that he may eventually teach, Thomason has lectured at Princeton. He counts faculty members at MIT and Columbia among his professional friends. He is a member of the prestigious, by-invitation-only Forbes Technology Council. 

Yet His Perspective Is Humble

When we asked Thomason how he had accomplished so much in so few years, his response displayed a rare humility. He explained that being brought up by a single mom and Depression-era grandparents imbued him with a strong work ethic. He was motivated not to waste time. 

He acknowledged that he was “good at technology,” but attributed his hugely productive track record in large part to having the good luck of being born and coming of age at just right the time, as technology was emerging as a market-valued, high-potential ticket to stardom and wealth. 

More than “Just a Techie,” a Leader Who Makes Things Happen

The people Thomason has worked closely with over the years capture best what he is all about. In the words of one former colleague:

“James is the definition of a leader. He sees the world ten years in the future and knows how to get us there. He is incredibly strategic and, at the same time, has unmatched technical expertise.”

Another colleague added:

“James possesses unparalleled executive leadership skills, able to effortlessly mentor and coach teams to success. People instantly recognize and follow his sheer charisma.”

At VCapital, we look for jockeys who can drive their horses into the winner’s circle. James Thomason has demonstrated repeatedly his ability to do just that.

To learn more about participating in the success of EDJX, VCapital's tenth portfolio company, contact Jim Vaughan or Rich McMenamin. Talk to us.