Samuel Colella

Sam Colella is a Managing Director who has been a venture capital investor since 1984. Recognized for his leadership in life science investing, Sam co-founded Versant Ventures with six partners in 1999. Prior to founding Versant, he launched one of the first life science venture groups as a General Partner at Institutional Venture Partners.

Sam has held senior level positions in a diverse array of businesses, including president of Spectra-Physics, the world’s leading laser supplier, and senior manager of the Technical Products Division of Corning Glass.

Sam has served as an officer in the National Venture Capital Association, the Western Association of Venture Capitalists, and American Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth. He was the former Chairman of the Stanford Council on Interdisciplinary Biosciences. In 2001, Mr. Colella was awarded with the Distinguished Athletic Letterman from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2002, he was inducted into the University of Pittsburgh’s Legacy Laureate Society. In 2005, he received the American Liver Foundation’s Salute to Excellence Award. In 2010, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Venture Capital Association.


Sam is passionate about family, venture capital, entrepreneurs and sports. He is an avid tennis player, golfer and gym “rat” and can often be found on the tennis court or golf course with one of his children or grandchildren.