News & Views

 

Investing in People – Developing and Adding to our Team at Madrona
AUTHOR: Matt McIlwain

At Madrona we are regularly encouraging our portfolio companies to hire and develop talented people. As organizations grow and change, including our own, it is important to continually be assessing your talent needs and promoting and adding team members. As we embark on a new year of innovation, invention and investment in our region and beyond, Madrona is pleased to announce several promotions and a new addition at the firm today.

All of these appointments speak to the growing opportunity that Madrona sees in our region to build lasting and large technology businesses. We had two successful IPOs last year – Impinj and Apptio – both of which are substantial forces not only here in the Seattle area but in the technology industry at large. In addition, the continued industry leadership of companies like Amazon and Microsoft and incredible talent in our region highlight the huge potential of our innovation ecosystem to create more great companies and products.

Today we are pleased to announce that S. “Soma” Somasegar has been promoted to Managing Director, Julie Sandler to Partner, Daniel Li to Senior Associate and that Hope Cochran is joining us as Venture Partner.

Soma joined us in 2015 as a Venture Partner. Since then he has added greatly to our existing portfolio companies with his deep, developer-centric understanding of both technological and management experience, and has also become a powerful voice internally and externally on key investment areas including DevOps, Machine Learning and Virtual Reality. Soma brings over 25 years of technology operating experience building world-class platforms at Microsoft that fuel cloud, mobile and client/server applications, and he is a passionate and experienced angel investor. Since joining Madrona, he championed investments including Pixvana, Heptio, Shyft and CloudCoreo. He will be a great addition to our Managing Director team.

Julie came to Madrona from Amazon, and has been a valued and invaluable member of the Madrona investment team for more than five years. Today we are excited to promote her to the role of Partner. At Madrona, Julie has led investments including Integris and Poppy, served on boards, helped companies navigate the challenges of finding initial product market fit and then scaling for growth. She has always been a strong and persistent voice supporting entrepreneurs and the community around us. She is a steward for our investors and a mentor to a growing number of people in the Seattle region. She recently completed the year-long Presidential Leadership Scholar program which brings together select national leaders from many disciplines to learn from the great political leaders of our country, and she is deeply committed to ensuring that the innovation ecosystem provides positive impacts for the broadest number of people. We look forward to a new year of company building guided by Julie’s leadership.

Daniel Li joined us in 2015 as an Associate, from the Seattle office of The Boston Consulting Group, and since then has had a tremendous and immediate impact, diving in to leverage communication platforms to help the firm communicate, penning many interesting pieces covering such diverse topics as eSports and autonomous vehicles, and helping our portfolio companies navigate business decisions. Dan is even known to code a few applications himself including a text polling app and a mobile game called Babel. Dan’s energy and attitude is appreciated by our companies and we are happy to recognize his accomplishments with the promotion to Senior Associate.

Finally, we are also announcing that Hope Cochran is joining Madrona as a Venture Partner. Hope most recently was the CFO of London-based, King Digital, which we all know as the creator of Candy Crush and other successful mobile games. At King, she helped lead the company through explosive revenue and employee growth, a successful IPO and a $5.9 billion acquisition by Activision. She has long been a friend and informal sounding board to us at Madrona and recently returned to the Seattle area from London.

Prior to King she was CFO at Clearwire where she worked closely with Craig McCaw, John Stanton and other innovators in our community. Prior to Clearwire, she started a company that grew to 200 employees, $10 million in revenue, and was acquired by enterprise software pioneer, PeopleSoft. Throughout these experiences she has navigated company growth, management and financing situations including raising more than $12 billion, driving two IPOs and a multibillion dollar acquisition. Hope was a popular speaker at our recent CFO conference and we are excited to have her on board to work directly with our portfolio companies. In addition, as a Venture Partner she will be investing time in developing our corporate development and later stage financing programs that connect portfolio companies with strategic partners and potential late-stage investors across a broad set of sectors.

Overall these promotions and additions are a great way to dive into 2017! Madrona is incredibly optimistic about the outlook for the technology industry and having these additions to our core team is crucial to our ability to help our companies grow as well as build the ecosystem in the region.