Ann Marie Sastry

CEO and Founder, Amesite


Ann Marie Sastry is President and CEO of Amesite, an award-winning artificial intelligence software company focused on improving learning, and one of Metropolitan Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For (2019). Dr. Sastry was previously President, CEO, Board Director and co-Founder of Sakti3, recognized as one of MIT’s 50 Smartest Companies (2015), and as a Crain’s Detroit Business Cool Places to Work winner (2017). The company was acquired by Dyson in 2015 for $90M. Sastry was invited to the White House in 2015 to be recognized for her technology entrepreneurship, and meet with President Barack Obama. Her technology and business work have been featured in WSJ, Fortune, Forbes, The Economist, USA Today, The New York Times and on the cover of Inc.


Prior to starting her companies, she was Arthur F. Thurnau Professor (UM’s highest teaching honor) at the University of Michigan, for 17 years. Tenured and promoted early, Sastry was recognized with some of the highest honors in her scientific fields, including the ASME Frank Kreith Energy Award (2011) and NSF’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1997). She has co-authored over 100 publications and 100 patents and filings, and has delivered over 100 invited lectures and seminars globally (NIH, NSF, NAE, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge, etc.).


Sastry is active in business mentorship and philanthropy, with emphases on education, environment, and poverty alleviation. She serves on the Boards of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the Alpha House Family Homeless Shelter, Laidlaw Venture Partners and the Oxford Company, among others. She holds PhD and MS degrees from Cornell University, and a BS from the University of Delaware, all in Mechanical Engineering.

1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given 

Plant your flag in the high ground. Being purposeful about mission and ethos allows you to power through all of the work, friction losses and minor skirmishes that every innovator confronts. Committing to purposeful work is its own reward in many ways – you are alway able to readily explain to everyone what you are working to accomplish, and then get to it. 

2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given 

Try to fit in. 

3. What would you tell your younger self? 

Trust your gut. You will never follow a template, but you will blaze new paths. So trust your instincts making your choices, and enjoy the journey.

4. What excites you most about the future of your industry? 

More people will have access to learning through better software, and AI. Geography, demographics and income won’t limit learning because SaaS is going to make it possible for everyone to engage – and advance.

5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

My parents. 

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