Get to Know Katie Vasquez

April 16, 2024 / Calibrate Ventures Staff

We are thrilled to have welcomed Katie Vasquez as a new investor on our team. She hit the ground running and has been meeting with many deep-tech founders. We recently asked Katie more about why she got into venture capital, which tech sectors she finds the most interesting, and how she plans to spend her time at Calibrate. Read more below!

Tell us about how you got started in venture capital.

It starts with a Stephen Hawking documentary I watched as a teen. I decided then that I wanted to study astrophysics. I concentrated in astrophysics at Brown, but soon realized the research path was not for me. Fortunately, I had a strong mentorship network in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers on campus who advised me to try investment banking. I then landed a role at Goldman Sachs, and as a result, I became more involved in entrepreneurship and I even co-founded a company with two classmates. We joined an accelerator, raised grant capital, and pitched Y Combinator. After college, I worked in software strategy consulting, but knew I wanted to go into investing and work with entrepreneurs. 

Why did you choose to join Calibrate Ventures?

After my first introductory calls with the Calibrate founders, I knew they had built something special. Their focus on deep-tech investing aligns with my goals of working with moon-shot entrepreneurs. I love working with people building technical solutions, whether hardware or AI, to tackle problems normally written off as “impossible” or “too hard.” I’ve always loved studying the nitty-gritty of a problem, analyzing it from different perspectives to see the grand vision. So it feels like a perfect fit working with the Calibrate team – some of the deepest thinkers in AI, ML, and robotics. 

I also just instantly felt connected to the people at Calibrate. I love the collaborative environment where everyone supports one another and works closely with the founders. Also, everyone clearly has a high IQ and also a high EQ. The culture is all-in, working together and headed in the same direction. 

Which deep-tech sectors are you most excited about and why?

There is a lot of untapped potential in automating the manufacturing sector and amidst a growing labor shortage, it’s crucial to innovate in this space to help the US remain competitive worldwide. Leveraging AI to make complex machinery more productive and efficient is a big challenge, but it’s one with huge upside. 

There are also interesting technology developments happening on the edges of the energy sector, such as in software tools for the decentralized grid, robots for repair and maintenance, and SaaS tools for utilities. We are looking at “smart grid” startups finding ways to improve power plants, monitor machinery, or use GenAI to predict usage demand, for example.

What is one lesson your parents taught you that stuck with you?

“To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is unacceptable.” My parents really emphasized the importance of timeliness when I was growing up so I’m always early to everything. It’s a running joke with my friends that I’m always the first to show up at parties!