Leah & Chris
 

We leverage our resources, connections, experience, and expertise to carve a shortcut for you—so your energy is spent on building the future, instead of knocking on doors.

 

Why did Leah + Chris team up?

Chris: Since founding Fuel Capital, I never intended to go it alone and always envisioned the firm as a team effort. But, I wanted to take the time to find the right partner. I wanted someone with a complementary skill set. Ideally, someone who had deep technical and operational chops to match my expertise in investing, branding, and marketing. When I met Leah, it immediately became clear that she was the person to help me take Fuel to the next level.

 
 

Leah: I talked to countless people in the industry and everyone shared the same sentiment about Chris and Fuel: They’re a trusted partner for founders and investors alike. When I first met Chris, I was immediately struck by his relentlessness. Like me, he didn’t start as an insider. He worked his way up in VC through years of hustle. He’s not big on pretense or self-promotion - he puts all his energy towards helping founders shine. It was clear in our early conversations that we shared the same philosophy for the type of firm we wanted to build.

Chris: One of the most compelling reasons to partner with Leah was the fact that she has more than a decade of experience starting and running a business. Our founders have the unique opportunity to learn from someone who has been in the same trenches. Leah knows what it's like to raise money, hire (and maybe fire) the first 5-10 employees, launch new markets, and set company strategy. We want to be more than a source of capital - we want to provide real value to every founder in the Fuel family.

 
 

Leah: Both Chris and I have had a lot of support and help along the way and, at our core, we want to pay that forward. We leverage our resources, connections, experience, and expertise to carve a shortcut for founders - so their energy is spent on building the future, instead of knocking on doors.

Chris: Leah and I both started out as relative outsiders in Silicon Valley, and spent years becoming “insiders”: Me as a Seattle-based ad exec turned investor, and Leah as a Boston-based software engineer turned startup founder. We understand the additional challenges that founders face when they don’t fit the typical mold. That’s why Fuel does things differently. We focus on technology and talent, not pretense.

 

We are committed to giving outsiders the inside edge, and doing everything within our power to help outstanding ideas reach their full potential.

 

Meet the Fuel Team

CHRIS HOWARD

General Partner
@chrisfhoward

Chris is the founding partner at Fuel Capital. Prior to founding Fuel, Chris was at Ignition Partners, where he created and ran the seed program.

Previous to that, Chris spent ten years in advertising and marketing. At Heckler Associates, he launched several brands, including Aravon, New Balance’s comfort shoe business, and Procare, New Balance’s partner program. Chris ran offline and online marketing at the sporting goods retailer, Gear.com, prior to its sale to Overstock. Chris began his career at Team One Advertising, managing the national brand campaigns for Lexus and the American Cancer Society.

LEAH BUSQUE

General Partner
@labunleashed

Leah is General Partner at Fuel Capital, where she invests in early-stage companies across consumer technology, hardware, education, marketplaces, and retail. She’s passionate about supporting teams who are taking on world-changing ideas.

Leah relates so well to founders because she is one herself. She created one of the most widely recognized consumer brands of the past decade with TaskRabbit. As TaskRabbit’s CEO for eight years, Leah scaled the company to 44 cities and raised more than $50 million. In 2016, Leah transitioned into the role of executive chairwoman and in 2017, TaskRabbit was acquired by IKEA.

BRAD SILVERBERG

Founder & Advisor
@bradsilverberg

Brad is a co-founder at Fuel Capital and remains a close advisor to the firm and its founders. Previously, Brad was a Founding Partner of Ignition. Prior to founding Ignition, Brad built the Microsoft Windows franchise and led Microsoft’s Internet turnaround. In five years, he grew Windows from a $50 million business to over $3.5 billion. During his time at Microsoft, he also led MS-DOS, Internet Explorer, the Internet Platform and Tools Division, and Office. He was named PC Magazine’s Person of the Year in 1995 for his leadership of Windows 95.

BRIE BATKOWSKI

Executive Assistant
@fuelcapital

Brie is our awesome assistant. She is the operations guru, ensuring the Fuel office runs smoothly. Prior to Fuel, Brie spent several years as an assistant at Paine Schwartz Partners, LLC and the Barulich Dugani Law Group. Brie graduated from San Mateo College.