James H. Spann Jr.
Boyd Street Ventures Founder & General Partner James H. Spann Jr. entered the University of Oklahoma on a Navy ROTC scholarship and as a member of the President’s Leadership Class,
which afforded him close exposure to OU’s president. After graduation, he spent six years in the Marines, attaining the rank of captain. He then embarked on a 30-year business career that saw
him achieve great success in C-suite sales, marketing and strategic roles at such Life Sciences industry leaders as Amerisource-Bergen, Aramark, IBM and Medline. During that time he also
received an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and advanced certifications from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the Wharton School of the University of
An avid alum, James has served on various OU committees since 2005 and as Vice Chairman of The Advisory Board of the University of Oklahoma School of Biomedical Engineering since 2015.
This experience has made him acutely aware of the tremendous untapped commercial potential represented by funding-starved startups affiliated with the cutting-edge research programs of
OU, which has been awarded the Carnegie Classification’s highest rating for research activity. He founded Boyd Street Ventures – one of the country’s few Black-led venture capital firms – in
2021 to fund and provide strategic and operational guidance to OU-affiliated startups in order to leverage that potential and generate significant financial benefits not only for those startups, but
for investors, the University, its hometown of Norman, and the state of Oklahoma.
James currently serves on the boards of several organizations, including the University of Oklahoma President’s Associates (past Chair and Vice Chair), the University of Oklahoma NROTC
Alumni (currently Vice Chair), the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, cloud-based AI firm AmploGlobal, Inc, at-home physical therapy firm Luna Health,
and Vital Care Industries, Inc.
Under James’s leadership, Boyd Street Ventures has made early-stage investments in nine Life Sciences, FinTech and Energy Tech companies – all of which have some connection to OU or the
state of Oklahoma – within one year of launching its Fund I. Several more investments are anticipated before the end of 2023.The firm has secured significant funding from such
institutional investors as Bank of America and Gateway First Bancorp, as well as funding from numerous OU alumni and other individuals. In March 2023, Boyd Street Ventures received a $10
million investment from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement Of Science & Technology (OCAST).