Why I Joined TXV: Blake Silver, Chief of Staff

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Recently, I took a role as Chief of Staff at TXV Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in the technology that is fundamentally changing the way we eat, sleep, move, work and play. It is a firm with a story and proven success — led by two of the youngest African American fund managers in the space with a multi-year track record of investing in both human performance-oriented tech and B2B SaaS companies.

In many ways, joining the firm is the fruition and culmination of much of my life story: from growing up in Alabama and thinking “business” was a fun way of saying you sold either cars or insurance; to going to Auburn University and believing I would become a lawyer or a banker in NY, whichever came first; to getting my first scratch in the startup world by building a data visualization company that tracked the inventory aboard the ISS; to finally accepting a job in Austin, Texas, working for visionary founder and venture capitalist, Evan Baehr, which helped me find my skills, passion, and calling.

While the story makes sense, there is more to the question, “Why?”

The first thing you will see on the TXV website is this phrase:

  • People-Centered.
  • Diverse Perspectives.
  • Insightful Capital

TXV is building a firm that embodies these three principles — being people-centric, having diversity of thought, and making insightful investments. It is built on the backs of two of the most incredible, determined, impactful, and humble people I know. TXV also has a story of excellence in light of adversity. (Marcus’ famous slogan I’ve heard him say this first month being, “Adversity is a privilege.”) That story of excellence through adversity, whether it be at the end of it or right in the middle, is one that I want to play a part in. 

In short, I joined TXV Partners because the vision was simple: partner with founders/company builders to help build something that is about more than yourself. Help build something that can become an engine for good: technological good via our investment, economic good by providing returns to our LPs and investors, and lastly providing a good to our founders, by supporting them in a variety of ways. We are backing company builders that want to see that same engine built.

To close, my grandfather was the only person I knew growing up who was a “company builder.” As a boy, I handed Tom Silver tool after tool as he worked on that same engine of good for more than himself. Just from my childhood memories, I remember our family’s main line of work, a tractor repair shop called Silver Tractor Parts, plus a storm shelter construction company, an engineering shop that would make cars run on cooking oil, and a well drilling service that would provide clean water in developing third world countries. This chapter at TXV is new and far removed from my heritage of tractor repairs, but it is very familiar to those three principles of people, thought, and insightful investment.

Blake Silver