At Amplify, we take deep pride in our team. Our mission in building that team is to ensure that every single hire should make our current and future founders more excited to work with Amplify. With a bar set that high, it often takes us a long time to find the right fit. In other instances, the talent is obvious, but it takes longer for them to join the Amplify team. Natalie Vais is squarely in this second category.
I first met Natalie through our (now) Partner, Mark LaRosa. Mark took a chance and hired Natalie as his first Solutions Architect at an analytics startup called Interana (acquired by Twitter earlier this year). Natalie had only spent a year at Oracle, but I remember Mark telling me that there was something special about this recent college graduate, and that I needed to keep my eye on her. With her technical background — Natalie has a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering — she came up the curve as an SA faster than anyone either of us had ever seen. Natalie’s combination of intellect, tenacity, passion and ability to connect with people is exceedingly rare. Not surprisingly, she got promoted quickly, rising to Director of Product, despite her relative young age.
When she left Interana after three years in 2017, we tried to recruit Natalie to Amplify. She was direct with us that she “wasn’t ready” to go into venture then, but she left the door open, saying she was interested in exploring it in the future. Instead, she joined Google, where she was a PM on the Core Data Infrastructure team and later Google’s Cloud Firestore (check out her presentation here). Then Natalie became a Fellow at Google.org where she sought to leverage the latest techniques in machine learning and artificial intelligence to battle climate change. She ended her tenure at Google as a PM on Search Platforms.
It was during her time at Google that we got to know Natalie even better. The entire Amplify team was consistently impressed with Natalie, both as a person and in her ability to make a huge impact in the technical domains that excite her. We introduced her to several portfolio companies to informally consult on problems they were trying to solve. Every single one of those companies ultimately tried to hire her. That’s precisely the kind of signal we look for when bringing on a new member of the team, so when Natalie finally opened the door to the idea of venture as a career, we pounced.
With that, we’re so excited to announce that today is Natalie’s first day at Amplify. Natalie is joining us as a Principal and she’ll be focused on data science and engineering tools and platforms, developer tools, and cloud infrastructure. Her background both in helping customers succeed with highly technical products and defining and managing the introduction of products in new markets are skills that we know will be huge value-drivers for our existing portfolio as well as the next generation of entrepreneurs Natalie is certain to track down.
We are incredibly fortunate to have Natalie on our team and can’t wait to see the impact she will have on our industry. Feel free to drop her a note at natalie[at]amplifypartners.com or @natalievais if you’d like to wish her welcome.
Mike Dauber and Amplify team