Sarah Catanzaro

Principal

Sarah is a Principal at Amplify Partners, where she focuses on startups that apply technological advances in machine intelligence and enterprise infrastructure to solve real-world problems.

Sarah started her career in the smoke-filled rooms of the military-industrial complex after graduating from Stanford University as a Center for International Security and Cooperation Honors Scholar. In her first position as a Research Director for the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (CADS), she and her team used advanced statistical models to predict the behavior of covert organizations, including Somali pirates, illicit charcoal traders, and jihadist insurgencies. She subsequently leveraged computational methods to help public agencies ranging from the US Joint Forces Command to the Secret Service anticipate and disrupt complex threats.

Upon joining Mattermark as Head of Data, she applied similar approaches to incomplete and uncertain datasets on private companies. Like insurgencies, startups rarely broadcast information about their growth trajectories; however, Sarah’s team used sophisticated data science and machine learning techniques to help VCs understand startup dynamics. As one of the first Data PMs, Sarah also played an instrumental role in developing frameworks for data strategy and data team operations.

At Canvas Ventures, where she started her venture career, Sarah utilized similar methodologies to source the firm’s investments in Fluxx, Platform9, and Kinetica. She also worked with Canvas portfolio companies to implement data strategies aligned with their broader organizational goals.

Although these days she’s no longer involved in hostage negotiations, Sarah still enjoys a heated game of Battleship and debate on military strategy and its applications to business. She also tempers her interest in topics related to war and violence by exploring modern and contemporary art and through long walks on the beach with her Cavapoo, Bixby.  

Favorite military strategist

Carl von Clausewitz

Favorite artist

Wassily Kandinsky

Places she’s lived before Silicon Valley

Sydney; New York; Paris; Washington, DC