On Friday, November 22, Mercury Fund co-hosted a breakfast with Baird Capital bringing together over 20 Houston-based software VCs for discussion and collaboration. After noticing a critical mass of investors in the area, Tim Marx of Baird approached Mercury Fund to help connect all the new funding sources in town in order to improve collaboration amongst Houston’s newly developing VC community.
Twenty years ago, when I started my career with the VC/PE investment firm Genesis Park, there was a Houston Venture Capital Association. After the dotcom boom and bust, this organization merged into the Houston Private Equity Association since Houston’s VC community paired down to a only a few active funds. Over the past 20 years, financings in Houston have been dominated by energy private equity firms. However, with the energy industry going through massive change and upheaval, this is about to change. Houston has put a lot of effort into making the city a more inviting environment for tech entrepreneurs, talent and venture capitalists. Organizations such as HX, HX Venture Fund, The Cannon, Rice Alliance, Ion/Station Houston, and TMCx are helping to lead the charge. This can also be seen by the mere fact that 20 Houston-based VCs were at breakfast together in Q4’19!
The VC breakfast group unanimously agreed on the importance of meeting on a regular basis to support each other and the companies we each fund. Knowing that we are more helpful to our entrepreneurs together than separately, we will focus on sharing lessons learned, understanding each other’s investment practices, and collectively supporting our Houston-based entrepreneurs. Over time, this collaboration will help make Houston a better home for our startups than ever before. And eventually we may even start calling our breakfast group the Houston Venture Capital Association.