Since the late 90’s, Blair Garrou has focused on funding, operating and incubating startup software companies. Blair’s current investments include Alert Logic, BlackLocus, Fluensee, GameSalad, Graphicly, Infochimps, Koupon Media, ShareThis, and Wide Open Spaces. Blair’s previous investments have included Phurnace Software (BMC Software), FuelQuest (Saracen Energy), Intermat (IHS) and SAT Corporation (Invensys).
Blair is a co-founder and Managing Director of Mercury Fund, a seed and startup venture capital firm headquartered in Houston, Texas. With over $100 million under management, Mercury invests in compelling and novel software and science-based start-up opportunities, focusing on entrepreneurs and innovation originating in the U.S. Midcontinent. Since inception in 2005, Mercury has become one of the most active venture funds in the Midcontinent, becoming a “go-to” fund for entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of idea generation, company formation, and market execution.
Mercury is an active partner and/or investor with seed accelerator programs throughout the middle of the country. Blair is a co-founder and Board Member of SURGE Accelerator (Houston, TX), a mentor-driven seed accelerator focused on entrepreneurs seeking to solve the world’s energy problems using software. In addition, Blair is a mentor with seed accelerators The Brandery (Cincinnati, OH), Excelerate Labs (Chicago, IL), and Tech Wildcatters (Dallas, TX).
Prior to co-founding Mercury, Blair was the CEO of Intermat (NYSE: IHS), a leader inproduct information management software; a Principal with Genesis Park, a Houston-based private equity firm; helped launch and was the Director of Operations for the Houston Technology Center, the largest tech incubator in the Southwest, where he led the formation of the Houston Angel Network, one of the largest angel investment organizations in the U.S.; was an investment banker with BMO Nesbitt Burns; and began his career with Deloitte & Touche. Blair received a B.S. in Management from Washington & Lee University.
Outside of DFJ Mercury, Blair serves in board and advisory roles for the Houston Technology Center, the Post Oak School, Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship, and UTHealth. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University where he teaches a course on venture capital. Blair is an active member of YPO – Gulf States Chapter, and was named by the Houston Business Journal as one of its inaugural “40 under 40,” a recognition of outstanding business and community leaders under the age of 40.
As Managing Partner of Trailblazer Capital, Joel leverages unique insights gained from his experience in banking, investing and operating early-stage companies to make and manage venture investments. Previously, Mr. Fontenot worked for Cisco Systems, Inc. He joined Cisco through the acquisition of Metreos Corporation were Joel served as CEO and Founder. Joel is a former Board Member of Spawn Labs, Inc. a Trailblazer investment he led and sold to GameStop in 2011. He serves on the Board of Directors of NetSocket, Inc., Koupon Media, Inc. and cycleWood Solutions, Inc. Mr. Fontenot is an Executive Board member of the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering at SMU and on the Board of Cistercian Preparatory School. He was appointed to and served on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund Advisory Committee.
Mio Stojkovich is a principal with the Matthew Pritzker Company. Mio brings more than 20 years of experience in private equity investing and capital markets. Prior to joining the Matthew Pritzker Company, Mio was a partner at William Briar Capital Partners where he led deals in technology and technology-enabled services businesses and was also a principal with PRTM, a high-tech management-consulting firm. He began his career at Motorola. Mio holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition, he has received an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business in Economics, Finance and Strategy.
Craig Connelly is the president of GMR Marketing, an experiential marketing firm which is a division of Omnicom’s Radiate Group. Connelly joined GMR in 2002 after 25 years in marketing, sales and operations posts at Miller Brewing Company. Miller is a major client for New Berlin, WI-based GMR. Craig holds a BA from Iowa State University.