Blair Garrou is a Venture Investor specializing in entrepreneurial innovation with software companies in the U.S. Midcontinent. His company, DFJ Mercury, has over $100 million under management and focuses on compelling and novel software and science-based start-ups. It is a partner in the DFJ Global Network of venture funds.
As co-founder and Managing Director, Garrou has guided DFJ Mercury to its current pinnacle as one of the most active venture funds for entrepreneurs, taking projects from the earliest stages of idea generation through company formation to market execution. He is also co-founder and board member of SURGE Accelerator, a mentor-driven program focusing on entrepreneurs seeking solutions to the world’s energy problems using software.
Garrou provides insight and expertise in venture capital, startups, and strategy. He is also an active mentor and investor with several seed accelerator programs throughout the central U.S. states including Brandery (Cincinnati, OH), Excelerate (Chicago, IL) and TechStars (Boulder, CO and San Antonio, TX).
Garrou has spent the last 10 years of his career focusing on funding, operating and incubating start-up technology companies, with particular emphasis on Consumer Internet and Enterprise Software. His current investments include Alert Logic, Fluensee, GameSalad, Graphicly, Kabongo, Performix, and ShareThis.
In 2005, Garrou co-founded and became Managing Director of DFJ Mercury, a $20 million Texas-based venture capital firm focusing on seed accelerator programs and start-up investments in the IT, advanced materials and bioscience sectors. The company has a particular interest in university spinouts and incubation, often investing before a business plan or management team has been formed.
Prior to co-founding DFJ Mercury, Garrou was CEO of Intermat, a leader in product information management software until its sale to IHS in 2004. He built on his experience as a Principal with Genesis Park, a Houston-based private equity firm, where he led investments in FuelQuest (acquired by Saracen Energy) and SAT Corporation (acquired by Invensys).
From 1999 to 2000, Garrou helped launch the Houston Technology Center, the largest tech incubator in the Southwest. He served as the Director of Operations and was instrumental in the formation of the Houston Angel Network, one of the largest angel investment organizations in the U.S. Garrou’s resume also includes his role as an investment banker with BMO Nesbitt Burns, after starting his career with Deloitte & Touche.
Beyond his involvement with DFJ Mercury, Garrou serves in advisory roles for UT Health, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Friends of Integrative Medicine, and the Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship. He is an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University where he lectures on venture capital.
Garrou received a B.S. in Management with special attainments in Commerce from the Williams School at Washington & Lee University. He 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, and is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization.