In the newest episode of The First Close, we interview Marcus Stroud, Managing Partner of TXV Partners, an early stage firm based in Texas. Originally from Prosper, Texas, north of Dallas, Marcus left his small town for Princeton to play football. There he met his future firm co-founder, Brandon Allen and they became inspired to start a fund.
Marcus and Brandon are at the start of their careers and they are on a mission to build a new archetype of venture capital. Diversity is core to this new archetype: they are based in Texas, their team is diverse, and they believe it’s critical to focus on new geographies and diverse entrepreneurs. In 2018, Marcus and Brandon made the decision to co-found TXV Partners. Before TXV, Marcus and Brandon were pursuing careers in consulting and finance to prepare for their shift to venture. Along the way, Marcus starting investing in venture deals as the manager of The Clubhouse Investment Club (CIC) for professional athletes to co-invest with top tier investors.
Today, TXV has a network that spans the country and includes professional athletes and Fortune 500 leaders. Marcus’ mentors include some of the best known names in sports, including Brent Jones, co-founder of Northgate Capital and former NFL player and former major league baseball player Torii Hunter.
The TXV team believes that Texas has the opportunity to be at the forefront of next-gen technology. Indeed, startups in the Lone Star state have consistently attracted venture dollars. In 2019, VCs poured $3.8 billion dollars into Texas-based startups, and this amount has steadily increased over the past 15 years, according to data from Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association. TXV partners aim to be a critical part of the transformation of the Texas venture ecosystem.
In this episode, we cover:
- The pivotal role of athletics in Marcus’ journey to venture capital
- Starting a VC firm early in your career and creating a blueprint for future fund founders
- Being a new venture firm in Austin and the investment landscape in Texas
- Building a culture that has diversity and inclusion at its core
- How to navigate the ups and downs of the fundraising process
- The importance of integrity and character in investing