HOUSTON INNOVATORS PODCAST EPISODE 67
Houston VC fund's new partner to grow focus on the future of work and underrepresented entrepreneurs
When Mercury Fund was founded in 2005, the goal was to focus on funding underrepresented entrepreneurs.
"The firm was really built around looking for the underrepresented entrepreneur and 15 years ago, that was just the middle of the country, because all the VC investments were on the coasts," says Heath Butler, network partner, on the Houston Innovators Podcast. "And over the years, the firm has continued to look for the blue ocean in the VC market."
Nowadays, that means also finding and funding female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color. And Butler co-founded the Urban Capital Network — a group that aims to democratize VC funding by helping connect minority entrepreneurs and VC firms — to do just that.
Butler was recently promoted within Mercury and the the move represents another aspect the firm is focusing on: the future of work. Butler spent 14 years at Houston-based human resources service company, Insperity.
"The world continues to be shaped by how the workforce and the workplace — and the actual work gets — done, and that couldn't have been put to the forefront more than during COVID," Butler says. "The promotion really reflects my focus on building out a very broad and deep theme for the firm around the future of work."
Butler, who's on the board of several startups and hosts a monthly event with The Ion, is hands on with entrepreneurs and helps them make sure to keep their company culture front of mind as they grow.
"I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, led by my mother," he says. "I learned so much at such a young age around worth ethic and how the job of being an entrepreneur is."
Butler discusses more about his career and venture capital in Houston on the show. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes.