Plan your Back-to-Work strategy – Visit our Toolkit for Ideas and Direction

We are a team of doers, optimists, pragmatists, strategists, technologists, operators and collaborators. And we work for you.

Matt McIlwain-Madrona Venture Group

“The Pacific Northwest is a highly collaborative and vibrant ecosystem. It has truly world-class talent, with more moving here every week across cloud computing, intelligent apps and multi-sense UI/UX. And then there’s the amazing beauty of this place!”

Matt McIlwain

Managing Director

Matt invests in a broad range of software and data driven companies with a focus on cloud computing, dataware, intelligent applications and the intersections of innovation (where life science and data science intersect). He believes in the Learning Loop for entrepreneurs who journey from curiosity to triangulation and decision making. This leads to positive outcomes and ongoing learnings.

Past lives

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 and prior to that 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.


Matt is a board member (and previous chair) of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a board member of Washington Policy Center. Matt enjoys going on adventures with his family, discussing public policy issues and trying out new technologies. He is also an avid runner, Peloton biker, and a major Sounders and Seahawks fan.

Awards and recognition

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’ (NACD) Northwest chapter. In 2011, he received the Washington Policy Center’s Champion of Freedom Award. He has also been named several times to both the list of Top 100 Venture Capitalists by CB Insights and The New York Times and the Forbes Midas list.


Matt is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Favorite part of the start-up process

Celebrating the early customer wins and revenue. “Every great founding team has terrific passion, energy and confidence at that moment!”