Tech Entrepreneur, Product & Business Leader, James Phillips, Joins Madrona Venture Group as Strategic Director

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Madrona Venture Group is pleased to announce that James Phillips is joining the firm as a Strategic Director. As a strategic director Phillips will work with Madrona’s portfolio company founders and executives, sharing his insight and operating experiences and will collaborate with the investment team as they help build companies from Day One.

Phillips is the President of the Digital Transformation Platform Group at Microsoft, a product development group spanning Microsoft’s business applications and services. With responsibility for strategic direction, development and delivering results from a broad product group that includes Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Azure AI Platform, Azure Data Platform, Azure IoT Platform, and the Microsoft Cloud for industry specific solutions, Phillips works deeply on accelerating digital transformation for businesses and enterprises – from the tech stack to customer satisfaction to team management.

“James is a one of a kind unique talent – he has been both a successful serial entrepreneur working on early stage start-ups to build the product, find product market fit and build a business with successful exits via M&A or IPO, as well as running large businesses and managing world-class teams in leading global corporations. Having had the opportunity to work with James for several years at Microsoft, I have seen first-hand his passion for solving customer problems and building new businesses from scratch and getting them to scale effectively. Having his breadth of operating experience and his passion for helping the next generation of entrepreneurs here at Madrona, working directly with our companies from early founders to our growth stage companies, will be of immeasurable value,” said S. Somasegar, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group.

Phillips added: “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to work more closely with the team at Madrona and with the world-class founders and company-builders Madrona backs. I’ve known the partners at Madrona for many years – in one case for over three decades. I have deep respect for their high-integrity approach to venture investing and the impact they deliver for their companies. It is arguably the best time in history to build a technology company and I’m eager to support Madrona’s entrepreneurs as they pursue their vision.”

Prior to joining Microsoft, Phillips was a serial entrepreneur most recently as a founder and CEO of Akimbi Systems (acquired by VMware) and a co-founder at Couchbase (NASDAQ: BASE); held engineering, product management, corporate development and marketing leadership roles at Intel, VMware and Synopsys; and spent two years as a technology investment banker with UBS PaineWebber. He began his career as a self-taught software developer and co-founded Fifth Generation Systems (acquired by Symantec) at age 17. He is also an angel investor and actively mentors start-up CEOs.

Phillips joins a growing group of experienced operators joining the firm to help portfolio companies and assist the investment team. Recent strategic directors include Founder and CEO of Apptio, Sunny Gupta, President and CEO of Tableau, Mark Nelson, and Senior Director of Business Development and Strategic Alliances at Nanostring, Charlotte Hubbert. Over the past 12 months, Madrona raised $620M to fund the strategy of working with founders from the earliest days through the long run of the company’s journey.

About Madrona

Madrona ( is a venture capital firm based in Seattle, WA. With more than 25 years of investing in early stage technology companies, the firm has worked with founders from Day One to help build their company for the long run. Madrona invests predominantly in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum and recently raised two Acceleration Stage funds for initial investments in Series B, C and beyond. Madrona manages over $2 billion and was an early investor in companies such as Amazon, Smartsheet, Isilon, Redfin, and Snowflake.


Erika Shaffer, [email protected] 206-972-5514

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