Mercury Fund is excited to welcome Tom Jackson, Senior Analyst, to our team! After a few months on board, we sat down with Tom to discuss his time at Mercury and what he is excited for in the new year. Read below to learn more about Tom.
1) Tell us about your background and why you wanted to join the Mercury team?
After a brief stent in management consulting, I discovered my passion for startups and ended up co-founding Locus Insights in early 2017. Since then, I’ve worked in a variety of roles across product and operations at early-stage startups and as a private consultant. Over the course of my career, I’ve had the fortune of meeting and learning from so many amazing founders and investors across the country! I developed an interest in venture capital soon after founding my first company and started seriously exploring opportunities at funds in Texas during this past summer.
Mercury really stood out to me because of the stellar founder/operator backgrounds of the team and the truly hands-on approach they provide to their startups and entrepreneurs. After meeting with everyone on the Mercury team, it felt like home and it’s been an incredible experience so far!
2) How did you build out your network in Austin and the U.S. and how do you plan on utilizing it to make a difference in Mercury’s opportunity sourcing?
I got started by attending a lot of startup/tech meetups and events in Austin to try and meet as many people as I could! After I went through Capital Factory’s accelerator and Techstars Austin, my network grew quickly because I was always looking for help from mentors and experts for whatever problem popped up at the time.
Building up my network in Austin and other cities across the U.S. has really paid dividends with opportunity sourcing after I joined Mercury Fund as most of the opportunities that I see comes from founder referrals. I’m very active in mentoring and holding office hours – especially in Austin – and get to meet so many great founders through those as well.
3) What is one of the most valuable things you learned as an entrepreneur?
I think the most valuable lesson I learned as an entrepreneur is the importance of building genuine relationships with the people you meet and providing value without any expectations of return. Techstars has the mantra of “Give First” as a core tenet of their culture and that has resonated deeply as I’ve transitioned to the other side of the table as a VC.
4) You joined the Mercury team in October. What impact have you made in the last two months?
The first two months at Mercury have been such a fun experience and I’ve learned so much from our team and the founders I’ve met so far. We invested in one of the first companies I sourced and I couldn’t be more excited for us to be a part of their journey over the coming years.
5) What are you most excited about for the upcoming year as you continue to source potential investments across the country?
I’m most excited about the people that I’ll meet as we build our network and brand across the Rockies, Midwest, and Southeast. Helping founders, democratizing access to venture capital, and increasing diversity in the startup/VC world are what motivates me every day.