Sarah Smith Fund

Investing early in Founder CEOs

A Differentiated
Pre-Seed & Seed Fund

The fund invests $250K+ into companies focused on future of work, marketplaces, fintech, and developer tools.​ Half of portfolio founding teams tend to have a Stanford degree.

I build uniquely trusting relationships with Founder CEOs lending my people operations expertise through Slack and WhatsApp DMs, on-demand office hours, and a proprietary CEO 360 process.


Our Investments

Scope Zero

Carbon Savings Account benefit platform


Hyper local job platform for hourly workers


Credit and payments in LatAm


AI personalized coaching for managers


Customized AI to grow ARR via outbound

Concept Art

Generative AI for entertainment industry


AI enabled group mental health platform


Generative AI for video


AI agents for banking workflows


AI powered listing app for sellers


Modern OS for independent LBM dealers

Takeoff AI

AI for health optimization

Costa Security

Infrastructure as code for security networking


AI powered optimization for shipping operations


CEO 360 Review

For investments >$250K

This product is a comprehensive performance review of the CEO focused on “spike areas”, “blind spots”, and recommendations for increasing impact over the coming 12 months.

​In the process, I interview all of the CEO’s direct reports, a board member, and a newer hire individually by video. After compiling anonymized themes, I create a 2-3 page report and hold a debrief discussion. The founder CEO can run the process at a time of their choosing, often after Series A or at 20+ employees. The CEO is free to optionally share the insights with their coach, team, or board.


People Ops Office Hours

For investments >$100K

On an ongoing, on-demand basis, I offer office hours to all portfolio CEOs bookable via Calendly. Often at pre-seed and seed, the CEO does not have a full-time people leader and therefore is directly managing HR and recruiting.

Common topics include effective hiring, firing, compensation, culture design, HR/interpersonal issues, scaling challenges, and fundraising pitch feedback.


Sarah Smith

Founder & Managing Partner

If you had told me in 2000 that I would be investing millions of dollars into private, early-stage companies, I would have been baffled. At the time, I had just graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and was about to start my career as an elementary music teacher.

Through many twists of fate, I landed in the Bay Area in 2001 and have since gained decades of company building experience from places like Meta/Facebook, Quora, Bain Capital Ventures, Graph Ventures, BCG, and Stanford GSB.

Currently, I sit on the boards of Lime and Archive Resale and am active in the Stanford community teaching ENGR 245: Lean Launchpad and hosting GSB venture fellows each summer. I started the Sarah Smith Fund in late 2022 as a rolling fund and made 13 investments before launching the current Fund 1.

Truly helping Founder CEOs think through how to build their company culture and navigate the myriad of people issues is extremely rewarding. The CEO 360 process and People Ops office hours are universally needed products I can uniquely offer having worn the hats of operator, executive, multi-stage investor, and board member. In my career, I've invested nearly $50M into 70+ companies and am humbled to be a steward of my investors' capital.

Outside of direct investing, I live in Menlo Park and enjoy spending time with my husband Kyle and two young kids. I love tacos, playing strategy board games, and thrifting.

Sarah Smith