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Nov. 27, 2020

#244: Charles Hudson, Managing Partner at Precursor Ventures, on Raising a Fund, Investing at the Earliest Stages, the Role of Platform in VC, and the Importance of Storytelling for Founders

#244: Charles Hudson, Managing Partner at Precursor Ventures, on Raising a Fund, Investing at the Earliest Stages, the Role of Platform in VC, and the Importance of Storytelling for Founders

Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner at , a classic seed-stage investment firm based out of San Francisco, CA. Precursor seeks to invest in a company's first round of institutional investment and focuses on investments in B2B software applications,...


Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner at Precursor Ventures, a classic seed-stage investment firm based out of San Francisco, CA. Precursor seeks to invest in a company's first round of institutional investment and focuses on investments in B2B software applications, B2C software and services, and connected hardware.

Prior to launching Precursor, Charles Hudson was a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed-stage investors in Internet and mobile startups. He focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure, mobile applications, and marketplaces. He was also the Co-Founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, an Android-focused mobile games startup.

Prior to joining SoftTech VC and co-founding Bionic Panda Games, Charles Hudson was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business until the company was acquired by Zynga in February 2010. Prior to Serious Business, he was the Sr. Director for Business Development at Gaia Interactive, an online hangout and virtual world for teens. Prior to Gaia, Charles worked in New Business Development at Google and focused on new partnership opportunities for early-stage products in the advertising, mobile, and e-commerce markets. Prior to joining Google, he was a Product Manager for IronPort Systems, a leading provider of anti-spam hardware appliances that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $830 million in 2007.

Charles was also the founder of the Virtual Goods Summit and Social Gaming Summit, two of the leading conferences in the free-to-play games space.

Charles spent several years working at In-Q-Tel, the strategic venture capital group for the Central Intelligence Agency. While at In-Q-Tel, he focused on identifying investment opportunities that could deliver significant value to the CIA and the commercial market in both the short and long term. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Stanford University. 

Some of the Topics Covered by Charles Hudson in this Episode

  • The areas where Precursor Ventures is focused
  • How Charles decided to focus on the very earliest stages of startup investing
  • Charles experience raising his first fund as a single GP
  • How Charles built the team at Precursor Ventures, brought on Sydney Thomas, and what it took for her to get promoted to Principal
  • Charles views on the role of platform in venture capital
  • How Charles organizes the insights from their portfolio companies
  • The advice Charles has for founders around their pitch and the importance of storytelling
  • What Charles looks for in companies he invests in
  • How Charles looks at the brand for Precursor Ventures
  • Why optimism is so important at the early stage of investing
  • Why Charles wanted to be a venture capitalist
  • How Charles invests in himself as an investor to improve at his job
  • Charles' experience working with a coach on communication
  • Getting honest feedback as an investor

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