Joanna Black

General Counsel

Joanna Black

Joanna Black

General Counsel

Joanna joined Madrona in 2022 and serves as the firm’s general counsel. In her role, Joanna manages the legal process for all Madrona investment events and provides legal guidance to portfolio companies. She also works to build a broader Pacific Northwest legal community, connecting in-house legal professionals at startup companies within and outside the portfolio.

Journey to Madrona

Joanna has worked with public and venture-backed companies in the software, technology, and biotechnology industries for the last 25 years. Her experience spans a broad range of legal matters, including corporate governance, contract drafting and review, strategic counseling, venture capital financing, risk mitigation, and intellectual property licensing. Joanna was most recently a partner at Adkins Black, LLP, where she represented and advised biotechnology companies, software companies, and startups on various legal matters. She was formerly vice president and general counsel of Xcyte Therapies, Inc., a public biotechnology company. Joanna started her career in venture, helping to build the Venture Law Group office in Seattle and serving as an attorney with Wilson Sonsini in Palo Alto. She has advised and worked on numerous financings, IPOs, and M&A transactions throughout her career.

Lessons learned

Always be kinder than necessary and try to take a pause between your thoughts and reactions. Adding even a short pause provides an opportunity to ask questions, explore possibilities, adjust perspectives, and check your ego. That often makes all the difference.

When she’s not in the office…

In her personal time, Joanna enjoys reading murder mysteries, doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her family. Her favorite podcasts include “Hidden Brain,” “Invest Like the Best,” and “Freakonomics Radio.”

Noteworthy

Joanna received her bachelor’s in economics and public policy from Stanford University. She earned her law degree from Columbia University School of Law.

Joanna on Madrona

“Energy is contagious. Being around so many entrepreneurs passionate about changing the world cannot help but energize me and everybody at Madrona to do everything we can to help our companies succeed. It is easy to be optimistic and motivated when everyone else around you is too!”