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Madrona's Matt McIlwain
Madrona’s Matt McIlwain

Madrona Venture Group’s Matt McIlwain spends hours each week hammering out deal terms with entrepreneurs.

But McIlwain, whose Seattle venture capital firm just raised a new $300 million fund, may have met his match in his 11-year-old son.

In a profile of McIlwain in the news site Ozy, the venture capitalist retells the story of how his son, Mason, wanted a couple thousand dollars to buy some video equipment for a new YouTube channel.

Putting on his venture capitalist hat and seeing an opportunity to share some lessons from the business world, McIlwain countered that the initial funding would mark an investment in the new business.

Mason didn’t flinch, saying that he didn’t want his dad’s equity, preferring instead debt financing.

Not a bad move, Mason. Why give up a percentage of your company when you can keep the whole pie to yourself?

McIlwain tells Ozy that his son has “been listening to me way too much, obviously.” In a follow-up with GeekWire, McIlwain says that the “negotiation” happened on the walk from the Madrona offices to CenturyLink Field for a Sounders game.

“We had a fair deal worked out by the time we were at the stadium,” said McIlwain. Mason is planning to launch his site this summer, with an interest in Minecraft and other games. McIlwain says his son “is an aspiring Ali-A,” the video gamer who boasts more than six million YouTube subscribers and whose in-depth videos have generated over one billion views.

Read the full profile of McIlwain — perhaps the most powerful venture capitalist in Seattle tech — here. More on Madrona’s new $300 million fund in this GeekWire story.

UPDATE: We asked for more details on the terms of the deal between McIlwain and his son. Here’s what McIlwain had to say:

Terms are a little loose, but we agreed on a mix of mostly debt, some of his own savings and an advance on some allowance!!

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