After serving in a part-time capacity for months, on Jan. 8, Capital Factory announced that Bryan Chambers was promoted to Vice President of Accelerator and Investment Fund—the senior leader here in Dallas.
As a business development and investment professional with a long history in portfolio management and VC transactions, Chambers will bring his industry experience to his new role at the hub for Texas entrepreneurs and startups.
For starters, he’s the president of Chambers Ventures, a Dallas-based advisory firm with a focus on the financial, media, and technology industries.
Since 2016, Chambers has been a member of the entrepreneurship faculty at UT Dallas. There, he’s been director of the Blackstone Launchpad, a cross-campus program designed to support and mentor students, staff, and alumni entrepreneurs, and the UT Dallas Seed Fund, which invests in tech startups founded by UTD students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Chambers is also an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, where he teaches graduate-level courses.
Despite taking on a new role with Capital Factory, Chambers will remain a key member of the UT Dallas faculty within the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He says his team allocation is changing, but will still be heavily affiliated with UTD.
He’s also a founding team member at Fixd Repair, a local startup aimed at disrupting the home repair and warranty business.
And now, Chambers is adding to his extensive resume with a permanent gig at Capital Factory. We talked with the serial entrepreneur to get an inside look at what his days now look like, how he’s going to be connecting entrepreneurs, and what’s to come with the Texas Startup Manifesto.
What does your new role entail?
It means I manage a team across the state of Texas that drives deal-flow into the Capital Factory Accelerator and investment funds. My team is based in Austin, Dallas, and Houston and sources startups from across the state. I’m constantly scouting new deals and also evaluating follow-on investment opportunities in our portfolio.
How has your experience been so far?
My relationship with Capital Factory started a few years ago when I met Josh Baer. Shortly after, I invested in one of the new funds and joined as a mentor and I loved what I discovered. With Capital Factory’s expansion into Dallas in 2018, I was a very active advisor.
In our first year, eighteen companies joined the Capital Factory Accelerator including Counterfind, Blockparty, NeuroRehab VR, Fetch, and Roomored, with two additional that have not finished their onboarding from 2018 but that should happen any day now. And, we invested in ten Dallas companies including ShearShare, Fixd Repair, and Hypergiant, making Capital Factory one of the most active investors in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. All of our Dallas offices are occupied at Capital Factory and the event calendar is filling up.
How has your previous work helped with your new role?
Spending ample time on “both sides of the money” since college has allowed me to gain valuable insights and an appreciation for business between investors, customers, and startups.
What’s it like working with members in cities beyond Dallas?
I love it. As we described in the Texas Startup Manifesto, Capital Factory is focused on connecting the entrepreneurs across Texas to all of the family office money and the big corporate headquarters. I regularly wake up in Dallas, work a full day in Austin, and sleep in Dallas. There are already dozens of examples of startups attracting investment, hiring talent, and closing business up and down IH-35.
What do you hope to accomplish with Capital Factory?
We are aiming to grow the organization in every facet and North Texas is a big part of that goal. First and foremost, we are committed to taking steps every month to execute and realize the vision for the Texas Startup Manifesto and the team I manage plays a critical role in this mission. Generally speaking, this means helping more startups Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio to connect with customers and technology investors across the state and nation. Currently, Texas captures a mere 2 percent of national venture capital. To say Texas is underrepresented in VC would be an understatement relative to how well things are going for our great state overall. By collaborating with more partners across the state and investors nationwide now turning away from the blistering valuations on the coasts among other difficulties, we hope to influence the overall amount of national venture capital Texas receives.
Any big plans on the horizon?
Our focus in 2019 is in getting Dallas operating at 110 percent capacity while we continue to ramp up our operations in Houston. We’re getting ready to announce a big Texas Manifesto event coming up this summer—stay tuned!
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