Built in Seattle with Adam Schoenfeld

Matt McIlwain (Madrona) on lessons from 20 years of VC investing, traits of top entrepreneurs, and building a bigger pie

Episode Summary

20 years as a VC at Madrona. Headline IPOs like Accolade, Smartsheet, Apptio, Isilon. Invested in cloud before it was cool. 3x Midas list. 3x CB's top 100 VC list. Matt goes behind the scenes on his lessons (from the highs and lows), Madrona's philosophy, and how the best leaders work.

Episode Notes

On this episode of The Built in Seattle Podcast, I talked with  Matt McIlwain, a Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group.

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Episode Highlights

Guest Bio:

Matt McIlwain is a Manager Director at Madrona Venture Group where he invests in a broad range of software and data-driven companies with a focus on cloud computing, intelligent applications, and the intersection of the digital and physical world. He believes in the Learning Loop for entrepreneurs who journey from curiosity to triangulation and decision making. This leads to outcomes and ongoing learnings.

Before joining Madrona in 2000, Matt was vice president of business process for the Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC). He also was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, concentrating on strategy and marketing in technology-driven sectors and prior to that worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse.

Matt is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a board member of Washington Policy Center. Matt enjoys going on adventures with his family, discussing public policy issues, and trying out new technologies. He is also an avid runner, Peloton biker, and a major Sounders and Seahawks fan.

In 2017, Matt was named Emerging Company Director of the year by the Puget Sound Business Journal, in partnership with the prestigious National Association of Corporate Directors’ (NACD) Northwest chapter. In 2011, he received the Washington Policy Center’s Champion of Freedom Award. He has also been named several times to both the list of Top 100 Venture Capitalists by CB Insights and The New York Times and the Forbes Midas list.

Matt is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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