Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award

James C. Chou, BS ’84.

James C. Chou, BS ’84 

Chou graduated from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences with a degree in electrical engineering and a minor in computer science, and is a member of the dean’s advisory council. His roots in engineering at UB gave him the foundational skills to succeed in a constantly evolving technology landscape; he also holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

He began his technical career as a semi-custom silicon chip engineer and later became a consulting engineer at Apple. As a vice president for Wall Street investment bank JP Morgan, he delivered business systems. Now a start-up tech executive and seed-stage investor, Chou continues to advise entrepreneurs and start-up ventures on digital product development and scaling strategies. He held the title of chief technology officer (CTO) at Splice Music, Inc., a platform for music creators; Kabbage, an American Express platform that provides billions in small business funding; WorkMarket, an ADP company, freelancer marketplace, and B2B platform; and Shutterstock, a global provider of stock photography and video. He was part of the executive team that scaled Shutterstock, leading to its successful 2012 IPO. In an earlier position, he was a senior vice president and CTO at American Greetings Interactive. He formerly served as a member of Columbia University’s Columbia Technology Ventures Executive Advisors Network. Chou resides in New York City.

Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award

The late Mrs. Furnas established this annual award to be presented to a distinguished graduate of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences or the College of Arts and Sciences in a natural sciences or mathematics discipline.