By Julien Hast, Reporter
Prior to his foray into the venture capital world, Jim Stallings spent more than a quarter-century at IBM, most recently as general manager of global markets.
He retired in 2013, but his retirement didn’t last long. A $25,000 angel investment of his in a local founder propelled him into founding PS27 Ventures, today one of Jacksonville’s major VC players.
Stallings has a $20 million VC fund for early-stage tech companies that launched in June and an unusual philosophy on VC investing for which he credits his high success rate for investments — he puts it at 70%. The Business Journal sat down with Stallings to learn more about his thinking and strategy.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
How has your time with IBM informed your work as a VC investor?
The wonderful thing about working at a big company like IBM for a long period of time is you get exposed to so many different industries, so many different customer types, big and small, but also you get exposed to a lot of new ideas, new innovations, new approaches to business. Technology moves and changes so rapidly — and it always has — that you have to learn to adapt to those, and you learn that by working with your customers.