Madrona Appoints Hope Cochran Managing Director

Madrona Managing Directors, from left to right: Tom Alberg, S. Somasegar, Scott Jacobson, Matt McIlwain, Tim Porter, Hope Cochran, Len Jordan (missing from photo: Paul Goodrich). January 2019.

We are excited to announce today that Hope Cochran is our newest Managing Director. We have worked with Hope in her role as a venture partner at Madrona over the last two years and have known her for many more. In the time she has been a Venture Partner at Madrona, Hope has worked with dozens of our companies on business strategies, financial planning and operational effectiveness. Hope has built her extensive experience over twenty-five years as a founder of her own successful company, as a CFO at both Clearwire and King Digital, as an executive taking companies public and then selling them for billions to strategic buyers, and as a senior leader who brought teams together to achieve a goal. Her clarity of approach and expertise in not only how to financially organize a company, but in how to lead one, has been invaluable to our entrepreneurs and founders.

As a Managing Director, Hope shares the responsibility of investing Madrona’s newest $300 million Fund VII in early stage companies that we believe will change the future of Seattle and the global technology industry. When we shared the news of Hope’s new role with our mutual, long-time friend John Stanton, he commented that “I worked closely with Hope for five years at Clearwire. In a very challenging environment, Hope was a consistent and calm leader with clear vision. Hope managed the complexity of Clearwire’s financial position and was vital in every strategic decision. Hope’s experience in managing people and leading a business will make her an extremely valuable Managing Director at Madrona.”

Hope brings both a bold and practical approach to working with companies. She has already been of invaluable help to the whole innovation ecosystem by leading our annual CFO Summit to address everything from broad themes of leadership and to details of audit rules. In fact, before Hope worked at Madrona, she shared her experience of taking King Digital from 0-60 and onto the public markets at one of our CFO conferences. She has helped portfolio companies of all sizes including later stage Madrona’s portfolio companies like Smartsheet and Rover on their growth and IPO planning, and some of our youngest companies like Gawkbox and Integris through the building and scaling of teams and processes. Her ability to scale up or down and understand the operational challenges of the entrepreneur, is what they value. She is a trusted member of our team and a sought-after voice of counsel.

Hope helped source and led Madrona’s seed investment in the Riveter, the female forward work space and community with five locations thatwill be expanding to more locations this year. Since our initial seed investment, the Riveter has already raised a substantial follow-on upround financing bringing its total capital raised to $20 million. She has also led our involvement in the OnBoarding Women program, which focuses on bringing executive women onto public and private company boards through business-oriented education. For several years now, Madrona companies have been more intentional about recruiting female candidates as independent board members and our work with OBW is invaluable to these candidates and these companies.

To Madrona she has brought her deep operational experience and also her depth of experience serving on public company boards, including New Relic, MongoDB and Hasbro. It is clear that she is a leader in our region, and we are thrilled to have her focused on uncovering the next great companies being built in Seattle.

We also want to celebrate that Hope is Madrona’s first woman Managing Director. As investors, we seek to attract the best entrepreneurs and the best company-building team that are eager to roll up their sleeves to help companies when they need us. Having an investment team that is diverse in terms of experience, expertise, company background, gender, age, culture, and points of view enables us to build better companies faster. We are excited to have Hope on board and look forward to years of investing and working with companies from day one for the long run including all the key decision moments along the journey.

For Hope’s take click here.

Today We Join onBoarding Women

Caption L-R: Ed Thomas, Lucinda Stewart, Hope Cochran, Stewart Landefeld at the 2017 opening event for onBoarding Women)

Today Madrona is joining Deloitte, Perkins Coie, and Spencer Stuart in supporting onBoarding Women, an important program to increase the number of women on corporate boards. This Seattle based, forward-thinking organization started two years ago with the mission to increase the number of women on public company boards. There are many studies that show that companies with women in executive and board positions perform better for shareholders. Nationally the percentage of women on public company boards is 19.5%. Washington state, despite making recent gains, still lags behind. onBoarding Women aims to change that and has already had success, graduating 35 women from the program and helping to place graduates on boards for companies such as Washington Federal.

As venture capitalists with more than 60 companies in our portfolio, we serve on a lot of boards – from early startups to late stage to the newly public. We see the value in developing a diverse and independent board that can guide a young company through the choppy waters of developing a product, finding a market, building partnerships, and nurturing customers. Our portfolio company, Redfin, recently went public and is a leader in creating diversity in the board room with women representing 25% of their current board. In July of this year, Redfin, announced a pledge to diversify startup boards that Madrona and another Redfin investor Greylock Partners supported.

It is in this light of helping our companies be the best they can be and supporting the broader Washington business community, that we are very excited to join onBoarding Women. Hope Cochran, a Venture Partner with Madrona and experienced executive as well as private and public company board member, will be a mentor, and our whole team will be working with the new onBoarding Women cohort to build a strong pool of women who can help greater Seattle companies rise to the next level.

We are excited to work with the leadership of Ed Thomas – Deloitte, Lucinda Stewart – Spencer Stuart, and Stewart Landefeld – Perkins Coie to continue to bring more women into the board room – be that public or private!