At Amplify we spend a tremendous amount of time searching for exceptional individuals who have a deep-rooted passion for technology. That holds true not only for potential founders, but for members of our team as well. After a banner year of adding both Lenny Pruss and Lisha Li to the firm, it’s safe to say that we weren’t actively looking to spend more of 2017 recruiting; but you just can’t control when exceptional talent presents itself!

We first met Sarah Catanzaro late last year through our good friend Shivon Zilis. As we got to know Sarah it was plain to see that she embodied the traits we value deeply at Amplify: impossibly smart with no discernable ego, an innate ability to authentically connect with founders, and deep domain experience. In short, she was an obvious “difference maker.” So when we learned that Sarah was excited about the unique brand of early-stage investing we practice at Amplify we literally dropped everything to make sure she joined our team.

Amplify has always believed in the notion of the “practitioner turned founder” — that person who lives a problem so deeply that they end up starting a company to solve it. Fastly, Datadog, Buddybuild, Gremlin, and Abstract are just a few examples in our portfolio. So we’re thrilled that Sarah is our first “practitioner turned investor.” We were impressed by her work as a Data Partner at Canvas Ventures, where she she sourced a number of outstanding investments in a very short period of time, but it was the work before her time in venture capital that stood out to us the most. Sarah has built her career by using sophisticated data science and machine learning techniques to solve hard problems. From her time using data to counter terrorism and piracy at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (CADS), to her roles at both Palantir and Cyveillance, to her work building the data strategy and team as Head of Data at Mattermark, Sarah has been dedicated to solving many of the same kinds of data-driven problems that our founders seek to solve every day.

We’re ecstatic to welcome Sarah to the Amplify family where she’ll spend her time, not surprisingly, on companies applying technological advances in machine intelligence and enterprise infrastructure to solve real-world problems. Given her background, her expertise and her passion for startups, we know she’s the ideal person to help our entrepreneurs build category defining companies.

Please join us in welcoming Sarah to Amplify Partners! If you think she can be of any help as you develop your next idea, be sure to follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, or reach out to: sarah [at] amplifypartners [dot] com.

- Mike, Sunil, and the entire Amplify Team