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Venture Capital Manager at COSM 2021 to Listen and Learn

The Managing Director of Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group will moderate two panels on new technologies that can shake things up

In 2019, Madrona’s Matt McIlwain moderated a panel at the COSM 2019 Technology Summit, “AI’s Role in Unlocking Human Potential.” The panel followed tech pioneer and prophet Ray Kurzweil’s livestreamed address in which he predicted that we will merge with our computers by 2045 — The Singularity: “Our intelligence will then be a combination of our biological and non-biological intelligence,” he explained. We will be apps of our smart computers.

Or will we? And if that happened, would it be progress? Already, we freak out when we can’t find our phones, or our computers crash, or the internet is down. Or the power goes off. Yet Isaac Newton changed physics with a pen and paper. So did Albert Einstein. McIlwain suggests, look deeper.

Now he is back for 2021, moderating a panel on using biotechnology to increase human longevity: “Innovations in Biotech: Killing Disease and Living Longer” (10:00 am Thursday November 11).

His panel guests will be Stephen C. Meyer, Director, Center for Science and Culture (Discovery Institute); Jim Tour, Professor of Chemistry, Rice University; and Matthew Scholz, CEO of Oisin Biotechnologies. Scholz’s work is particularly interesting as it targets aging (“zombie”) cells that should die. But, as we age, they increasingly don’t. These cells are believed to contribute to age-related diseases.

(Register before October 31 for the best rate.)

McIlwain 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 learning.

He will also be a panelist for “SPACs, IPOs, and Direct Listings: New Tools to Unlock Capital Markets,” Friday, November 12, 9 am. Fellow guests will be Bryan Mistele, CEO of Inrix, and Kristin Zimmerman, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley. Hope Cochran, Managing Director of the Madrona Venture Group, will moderate.

Update: Session Video

Don’t miss a chance to hear and network with these COSM 2021 speakers too:

Carver Mead: “Listen to the technology; find out what it’s telling you…” That’s the motto of CalTech’s Carver Mead, who will speak at COSM 2021. Integrated circuit design pioneer Carver Mead is also deeply interested in physics problems, in seeing “quite visibly what matter is down at its heart.


Top world chemist, James Tour, to speak at COSM 2021. Tour builds molecules for a living, a position that causes him to stand in awe” of God: “Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith.” Apart from his hundreds of papers and dozens of patent families, Tour’s passion is introducing the public to the many worlds of science.

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Venture Capital Manager at COSM 2021 to Listen and Learn