Samuel Colella has been a venture capital investor since 1984. Recognized for his leadership in life science investing, Mr. Colella co-founded Versant Ventures with six partners in 1999. Prior to founding Versant, he launched one of the first life science investing groups in the industry as a General Partner at Institutional Venture Partners.
Over the course of his venture career, in addition to building two major venture capital firms, Mr. Colella has served as a Director on over 40 health care companies. He is credited with an extensive list of successful public life science companies, including Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Argonaut Technologies, Arthrocare, Athena Neurosciences, Aviron, CV Therapeutics, Endosonics, Fluidigm, Inc., Genomic Health Inc., IVAC Holdings, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacopeia, Symyx Technologies, Thermage, Tularik and Vivus. He is currently a director of Flexion Therapeutics, Genomic Health, Kinestral, QuantiCell, Rennovia, Veracyte, and he is Chairman of Fluidigm.
Mr. Colella spent 20 years as an operating executive prior to his venture capital career. He was President and Chief Operation Executive of a New York Stock Exchange company and held a variety of functional positions in a broad array of diverse businesses, including President of Spectra-Physics, the world’s leading laser supplier, and Senior Manager of the Technical Products Division of Corning Glass.
Mr. Colella’s professional affiliations include terms of service as an officer in the National Venture Capital Association, the Western Association of Venture Capitalists, and American Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth and he is currently Chairman of the Stanford Council on Interdisciplinary Biosciences. Mr. Colella is a Richard H. Holton Teaching Fellow at the Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley. He was awarded with the Distinguished Athletic Letterman from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001. 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. Mr. Colella has a B.S. degree in Business and Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. degree from Stanford University.