The City Influencer is excited to shine a major spotlight on a group of individuals that make content and community…cool. They are the kings and queens of influence and making things happen and because of that, we call them The Influentials.
HIS INFLUENCE: Joe Beard is a venture capitalist and investor who helps fund startup programs in Dallas and across the country. He served in the U.S. Army as a Captain for 5 years and is a partner at Perot Jain, L.P.. The experience, discipline and, most importantly, decision to attend the United States Military Academy in West Point continues to serve Beard in all aspects of his life. After graduating from Columbia University’s Business School with an MBA in Finance, Beard began his career as a venture capitalist. Skilled in investment banking, business development and corporate finance, Beard works with startups looking to change the world.
TCI’s managing editor Eric Flores recently interviewed Beard about his beginnings as a venture capitalist, inspirations, lessons learned and how important startups are to the community.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF: I’m an Army brat so I grew up in Japan and all over the US. Growing up in a military family taught me discipline, gave me an appreciation for public service and made me comfortable adjusting to new environments. I followed my father and entered the Army after attending West Point. I’ve been fortunate to have a professional career that has spanned public service, technology, investment banking, entrepreneurship and venture capital. I consider myself a jack of all trades and a master of none. I have been blessed with an unbelievably supportive wife and four great kids.
DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES? My work schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of hobbies but I spend my free time playing golf, watching my girls play soccer and traveling with my wife.
WHAT’S AN INTERESTING OR SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOU? I owned a live music venue in Deep Ellum for several years while working as in investment banker.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS A VENTURE CAPITALIST? It’s really a culmination of 20 years of diverse work experiences. I got my start in the business in 2015 when my partners, Ross Perot Jr. and Anurag Jain, brought me on board to lead investing activities at Perot Jain.
WHO INSPIRES YOU? I draw inspiration from the small interactions and instances that remind me that people are inherently good and keep me hopeful for a better tomorrow. Outside of my wife and kids, I am inspired by people that achieve professional success while creating social good. My business partners are perfect examples of this.
WHAT’S YOUR PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? Personally, I pride myself on being a great dad. Anyone that has kids knows the level of commitment, patience and hard work that goes into being a good parent. I am proudest of that fact that I have four amazing young kids. Professionally, my biggest accomplishment was making the decision to attend West Point. At seventeen, I was accepted to all the top California schools but had the courage to go against the grain and chose to attend West Point on the other side of the country. This decision has been instrumental to any professional success I have achieved.
WHAT’S ONE OF, IF NOT, THE HARDEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED IN ALL YOUR YEARS OF EXPERIENCE? HAS THAT LESSON SERVED YOU RECENTLY? In a business transaction many years ago I had a business partner try to defraud me of a large amount of equity. This taught me several valuable lessons. First, while it would have been easy to lose faith in people, I learned to be more accountable of the company I keep and to value my time. Second, I learned to ALWAYS know the details. My attention to detail helped me identify the fraud before it was too late.
This lesson serves me well as venture capitalist. Time and money are precious resources and I am extremely thoughtful of where and to whom I commit either one.
HOW HAVE STARTUPS INFLUENCED YOU? I love what I do. Every day I get to interact with bright, innovative, passionate entrepreneurs that are trying to change the world. These interactions keep me motivated, intellectually curious and hopeful for the future.
WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO AN ENTREPRENEUR LOOKING TO PITCH THEIR STARTUP TO AN INVESTOR? You only get one chance to make a first impression. Do your homework, be prepared, know yourself and your business, know your audience and have conviction.
YOU’RE SCHEDULED TO APPEAR AT “Think Like a Mogul” AS A PANELIST. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS EVENT? The energy and stimulating conversation. I have been fortunate to have great mentors and opportunities that have changed the trajectory of my career. Hopefully, someone can take away something from this event that does the same for them.
*TCI will be hosting “Think Like a Mogul” on June 20. Joe Beard is scheduled to appear as a panelist.
For more information about Joe Beard’s company, please visit: http://www.perotjain.com/