Insights from Madrona’s Matt McIlwain

Good Interview with Matt McIlwain of Madrona Venture Group on growing companies, IPOs, and comparisons of companies today vs. the Tech IPO bubble of the past.

Matt emphasized a two fairly critical areas of investment for the near term

  • Sensor based technology (fitbit, nest, etc.)
  • Data analysis (putting data to work… a.k.a. big data)


Matt also discussed a bit about the Seattle investment scene vs. investment in other parts of the country. He emphasized the great things we have here such as Microsoft, Amazon, UW, etc. I don’t think he captured the difference between the employees that Microsoft attracts and the employees that Paypal attracted or SnapChat, etc. In my view both NYC & Silicon Valley have one key difference that Seattle does not have – that is a large number people who made money in relatively short periods of time through startup exits or managing money in the capital markets. These short term risk centric gains are more likely to be reinvested in short term risk centric ideas than money that is earned slowly over the course of forty years. I’m not saying there is logic in that thinking, but having interviewed and trained so many angel investors (and always looking to interview more) – this is a fairly key difference.

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