Philip J. K. James
|Born||June 30, 1978|
|Alma mater||Oxford University (M.Chem. 1999) Columbia Business School (M.B.A. 2005)|
|Known for||Co-founder of CustomVine, Lot18 and Snooth|
Philip James (born June 30, 1978) is a British entrepreneur and adventurer living in New York City. He is currently Chairman of CustomVine, a wine company that makes private label wine for restaurant chains and the hospitality industry. He was also the founding CEO of both Lot18, a private sale site for wine and food, and Snooth, a comparison shopping internet site for wine.
Philip is Chairman of CustomVine a company that helps hospitality brands create their own wines. Previously Philip was the founding CEO of Lot18, a website that provides consumers with access to a curated selection of wines. Lot18 is headquartered in New York City, and is backed by $45 million in venture capital from Accel, NEA and FirstMark Capital. Prior to Lot18, Philip was the founding CEO of Snooth, a lifestyle media company with several properties, including Snooth.com, TheSpir.it and WhatsCook.in. Philip is also a founder of Popdust, a music focused content and commerce company backed by RRE Ventures, NEA, Lerer Ventures, Softbank, Raptor and Project A.
Philip was named a Finalist in the 2012 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards and to Business Insider’s 2011 “Silicon Alley 100” list of the most important figures in the New York tech sector. He was also invited to be in the second annual class of NYC Venture Fellows, a program from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office that recognizes the achievements of the city’s most promising entrepreneurs. Philip is also a mentor at the New York branch of Techstars, a startup accelerator program.
Philip graduated from Oxford University in 1999, at age 20, with a master's degree in Chemistry and Columbia Business School in 2005 with his MBA. In addition he holds the Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators.
In 2013 Philip rode his motorcycle 17,000 miles around the world, raising money for Wine to Water, a water charity with projects in 15 countries. His trip was cut short after needing surgery upon crashing in Kazakhstan. Philip is also a mountaineer and a sailor. A certified Yachtmaster, Philip has sailed in many offshore races, including the Trans-Atlantic ARC race in 2002. He has also climbed on five continents and climbed Mount Everest in 2003 and played a role in the high altitude rescue of Conan Harrod from Everest's North Face.
In 2014, Philip and Kevin Boyer, his business partner at CustomVine, were the faces of an internet hoax which described the invention of a "Miracle Machine", an appliance that could turn water into wine. The hoax was designed to raise awareness for Wine to Water, a water charity that Philip has supported in the past. The Miracle Machine news went viral with over 500 million media impressions and over 500 media outlets around the world covering the story. The campaign was a co-winner for the Community Relations category at the 2014 Platinum PR Awards, was named as one of the Top 15 Internet Hoaxes of 2014 by the Washington Post and one of the 10 Best Cause Marketing Campaigns by Selfish Giving.
In addition to his current personal work with Wine to Water, Charity: Water is the official charity of Lot18. Also in 2002 Philip worked for several months as a volunteer teacher in La Paz, Bolivia.
- Wine and Water blog
- Wine to Water
- Announcement of Wine and Water Expedition
- Miracle Machine hoax statistics
- 2014 Platinum PR Awards
- Washington Post Top Internet Hoaxes of 2014
- Selfish Giving 10 Best Cause Marketing Promotions of 2014
- Lot18 funding article
- Popdust funding article
- Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year List of New York Area Finalists
- New York Venture Fellows quote
- Business Insider Silicon Alley 100 2011
- BBC News article on the 2003 Everest Rescue