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Blake Ilstrup

Advisor Greater Seattle Area, US

Experienced and versatile strategic business advisor, entrepreneur and attorney for tech and life sciences companies and investors.

Experienced and versatile strategic business advisor, entrepreneur and attorney for tech and life sciences companies and investors.

2 vouches

Involved In


sol systems
KITE Solutions Inc.
The Attic Learning Community


Chief Operating Officer KPI Therapeutics, Inc. July 2014 - present
Senior Counsel (and Partner effective 1/1/17) Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP September 2016 - present
Senior Counsel Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP September 2016 - present
Advisory Board Member KITE January 2013 - present
General Counsel and Executive Vice President KPI Therapeutics, Inc. July 2014 - September 2016
Attorney Heller Ehrman's Venture Law Group June 1999 - October 2008
Vice President and General Counsel Qpass Inc. May 2005 - September 2006
Surface Warfare Officer United States Navy June 1993 - June 1997
Advisory Board Member KITE Solutions Inc. January 2013 - present
General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Business Development Kineta, Inc. February 2011 - present
Board President The Attic Learning Community May 2009 - present
Attorney Cooley LLP October 2008 - February 2011
Attorney Heller Ehrman June 1999 - October 2008
Vice President and General Counsel Qpass May 2005 - September 2006
Attorney Venture Law Group 1999 - October 2003
Surface Warfare Officer US Navy June 1993 - June 1997


Leadership Tomorrow Civic and regional leadership 2007 - 2007
UC Hastings College of the Law Law 1997 - 2000
Stanford University International Relations September 1989 - June 1993
altMBA - A Leadership Course by Seth Godin Organizational Leadership 2015 - 2015

Interested In

Markets of Interest
  • • Commerce
  • • Data & Analytics
  • • Education
  • • Enterprise Software
  • • Green
  • • Hardware
  • • Healthcare
  • • Mobile
  • • Robotics
  • • Small Businesses
  • • Social Impact
  • • In-classroom learning (K-12)
  • • Lifelong Learning (outside of school)
  • • Higher Education
  • • Fitness
  • • Nutrition
  • • Wellness

You Should Know About Me

Key Accomplishments

I bring a unique and invaluable mix of in-house, operational and law firm experience, having served as General Counsel and senior executive of a software company and two biotech companies (having co-founded one of them), as well as outside corporate counsel in elite AmLaw Global 100 law firms.

My experience spans multiple industries, including life sciences, software, hardware, mobile, digital media, manufacturing and retail. I have counseled high-growth companies on more than 200 venture capital and debt financings, more than 100 M&A transactions, and numerous public offerings, as well as service as a trusted advisor to management teams and Boards on both strategic and day-to-day matters.

I am proud to have worked with a variety of technology and life science companies, venture capital firms and investment banks, including A Place for Mom (acquired by Warburg Pincus), (Nasdaq: AMZN), Cloudhopper (acquired by Twitter; NYSE: TWTR), Crosstrees Medical, Deutsche Bank, fatfoogoo (sold to Digital River; Nasdaq: DRIV), Ground Truth, Hubspan, Ikaria, IronPort Systems (acquired by Cisco; Nasdaq: CSCO), Kineta, KPI Therapeutics, OVP Venture Partners, Qpass (acquired by Amdocs; NYSE: DOX), Rosa & Co., SeaPoint Ventures, Square Enix, Targeted Growth, TIBCO Software (Nasdaq: TIBX), U.S. Venture Partners, Xcyte Therapies, Zumobi, and Zipwhip.

Prior to my legal career, I served with distinction in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer, including two combat deployments to the Persian Gulf, where I was decorated for my performance during Operations Southern Watch and Desert Strike.

How I like to work with people
As an Advisor

Entrepreneurs I've worked with in the past have described me as a hands on, pragmatic trusted advisor who is responsive and always available. I know what it's like to form and grow a company, and pride myself on my ability to provide clear solutions to tough problems. I like to be involved, informed and - most of all - helpful.

Vouches Received

Vouches Given

Think Blake is awesome?
Vouch for them.

David Laub
CFO, New Game Town LLC and Strategic Financial Consultant, CFO Selections. University of California, Berkeley grad.
As a lawyer, Blake has real work experience in working with young companies.
Susan Sigl
We worked together  •  Consultant (Board Advisor & Mentor to Northwest entrepreneurs), Technology Sector Start-up Advisor.
Blake's breadth of legal and entrepreneurial experience as a lawyer and as an operating executive in venture backed companies small and larg ... e is invaluable in providing a 360 view of what it takes to build a top flight organization. This background combined with his ability to listen and effectively communicate complex issues in clear terms is a winning set of attributes for any company looking for advice. I worked with Blake on many deals during my tenure in VC and had the good fortune to be able to include Blake as a key "go to" resource.

Ken Myer
Interim executive, advisor and board member.
Ken is a natural leader with a keen eye for great ideas and the execution skills to make them a reality.