Thornton Hall A225
PO Box 400744
Charlottesville, VA 22904


Jim Cheng has over 25 years experience as a technology entrepreneur, angel/private capital investor, business leader and a senior state government executive. His primary interests are in the support and development of technology entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the University and the region.

Jim is a Co-Founder and Co-Chair of CAV-Angels, an Angel investment club for UVA Alumni, and is a member of several Angel Investment and PE firms/groups. As such, he has invested in over 40 startups of various industries, some of which have had successful exits! He advises several startup companies and is active in statewide and regional business policy circles. He also currently advises PIE, the government contracting/economic development arm of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia.  

Previously, Jim served as the Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth of Virginia (1/2010-1/2014). His portfolio included 13 state agencies emphasizing business, economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship. As Secretary, he led numerous state trade delegations to destinations around the world, and, along with the Governor, interacted with corporate and world leaders. 

Before serving in State Government, Jim was a tech entrepreneur in the government IT contracting industry, building his company to close to 600 people before successfully exiting in 2005.  Among other things, his company was named the Fastest Growing Company in Virginia in 1999 (Virginia Business Magazine) and nationally, Inc 500’s #12 Fastest Growing Private Company of 1999.

Jim serves on numerous non-profit and community boards, along with several for-profit and social enterprises.  He is also a member of the Virginia State Bar and District of Columbia Bar. He also jointly held US Patents 6,298,841, 6,082,348 and 5,762,058; and China patent 72,511 (expired).


BS, Computer Science, Old Dominion University, 1982

MBA, UVA, Darden Graduate School of Business, 1987

JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 2002

Courses Taught

STS 2840 Entrepreneurial Finance