Elisa La Cava


Elisa La Cava
“As an early-stage technical founder, I have to quickly get good at many things that aren't in my wheelhouse, from building financial plans to negotiating venture debt. Whenever I hit one of these moments, I call Elisa. She's an incredible coach who levels me up, a trusted partner who helps me get it done, and an honest adviser who tells me the truths I need to hear to be successful.”
— Gaurav Oberoi, CEO, Lexion

Elisa La Cava


Elisa joined Madrona in 2018. Elisa focuses on sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities that span the full breadth of Madrona’s investment themes. She also works with portfolio companies to develop strategies for growth and success. Elisa is particularly interested in intelligent applications with machine learning/artificial intelligence, SaaS, and the future of work.

Journey to Madrona

Prior to joining Madrona, Elisa held positions at MATH Venture Partners and AT&T Corporate Development / M&A. Before receiving her MBA, Elisa worked at Deloitte Consulting, where she held roles as U.S. West Region chief of staff and consultant. At Deloitte, she worked primarily with technology and life sciences companies in developing M&A integration, software implementation, and training strategies. She was also involved in several key initiatives, including developing Deloitte’s first diversity and inclusion go-to-market strategy and leading an international pro bono consulting program for nonprofits in Latin America. Earlier in her career, Elisa gained startup experience at Seattle biofuel manufacturer General Biodiesel where she wore several hats, including business development, project management, and HR.

Lessons learned

  1. Building startups is, first and foremost, a people business. Making the time to build trust and strong relationships across your team, partners, customers, and investors will take you far.
  2. Sell, sell, sell — even when the product “isn’t quite ready yet.” The sooner you can get in front of customers, the more efficiently you will be able to iterate toward product-market fit.
  3. It’s hard to improve that which you don’t measure. Be thoughtful in choosing your KPIs, intentional (and empowering to your teams) about who owns what, and diligent about driving improvement over time.

When she’s not in the office…

In addition to her work at Madrona, Elisa actively engages with the Washington student and business communities through organizations such as the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship and Find Ventures. As a Seattle native, Elisa takes every chance she can to hike in the Cascades, bike around the city, or kayak on Lake Union. She is also an avid tennis player.


Elisa has a BA in environment-economics-politics and Spanish from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.


Elisa on Madrona

“We invest early and with high conviction to help outlier founders turn the impossible into the inevitable. The road between those two moments has innumerable ups and downs, and we promise to be your most enthusiastic, steadfast, and consequential partner in building strong and enduring companies.”