Matt McIlwain

Managing Director

Matt McIlwain
“Apptio was born in 2007 as the recession was kicking into full force. The Madrona team, and specifically Matt, partnered with Apptio from day-1 before we even had a name for the company – they helped with early market fit, scaling our executive team, and identified early customers for Apptio. Madrona and Matt have been strategic partners and advisors through the evolution of our company, which has included an IPO and eventual sale of Apptio to Vista Equity for $2B. I’m proud of what we’ve built at Apptio and grateful for the support Madrona has shown over the years.”
— Sunny Gupta, CEO, Apptio

Matt McIlwain

Managing Director

Matt is passionate about founders building companies that leverage applied machine learning and cloud computing to solve problems better than ever. They can be intelligent applications for enterprise or “intersections of innovation” — where life science and data science intersect.

Journey to Madrona

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. Prior to that, he worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse. For more about Matt and lessons learned from 20 years of VC investing, traits of top entrepreneurs, and building a bigger pie, listen to this episode of “Built in Seattle.”

Lessons learned

Matt believes in The Power of Why and The Learning Loop for entrepreneurs who continuously use curiosity and triangulation to make better decisions. And he loves being a Full-Stack VC that helps founders from Day One for the long run.

When he’s not in the office…

Matt was a board member (and previous chair) of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center for a decade and continues to serve on the Board of Advisors. He is also a board member of the Washington Policy Center. Matt enjoys adventures with his family, discussing public policy issues, and trying out new technologies. He is also an avid runner, Peloton biker, and Seahawks and Sounders fan.


Matt graduated from Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has been on the Forbes Midas list and Top 100 Venture Capitalists by CB Insights and The New York Times several times. 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’ Northwest chapter. In 2011, he received the Washington Policy Center’s Champion of Freedom Award.


Matt on Madrona

“Madrona is a full-stack venture capital firm based in the highly collaborative and vibrant ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest. We dig in and help entrepreneurs build their whole companies over a long period of time and love tapping into the area’s world-class talent to find future founders in cloud computing, intelligent app, and the intersections of life science and data science.”