The 2015 Tech Impact Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award



Madrona Venture Group

Tom Alberg has always had an eye for the technology trend, going all the way back to his first years as a young lawyer with Perkins Coie in the late 1960s. 

It was there that he helped develop the firm’s first forays into startups through the launch of ulatrasound developer Advanced Technology Laboratories, the company that helped establish the local biotech industry and now employs nearly 1,900 people.

Alberg later joined McCaw Cellular, where, as EVP, he helped guide the early wireless company through its growth progression. After negotiating the majority stake purchase of LIN Broadcasting, he served as that company’s president until McCaw Celullar’s 1995 sale to AT&T.

His reputation for vision was cemented when, shortly after cofounding Madrona Investment Group (with William Ruckleshaus, Jerry Grinstein and Paul Goodrich), Alberg placed an adventurous bet on, where he continues to serve on the board of directors. 

The graduate of Ballard High School remains devoted to Seattle and to Washington, providing input on development of the downtown Seattle Public Library, helping start the Washington Technology Alliance and even starting an organic farm and education center in nearby Carnation.

Under Alberg’s quiet leadership, Madrona Venture Group has become a critical guide to and anchor for Seattle’s venture business and continues to make far-seeing investments even as he sets a standard of civility in Seattle’s technology community. As the firm’s managing director, Matt McIlwain, observes, “Tom Alberg remains a humble but high-impact leader.” 

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