Episode 65 -May Samali of Urban Innovation Fund talks about her path into her dream job in venture capital which started out in law.

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Terri talks to May Samali of Urban Innovation Fund about how she fell in love with idea of using social entrepreneurship to solve the world’s problems and her path from law to venture capital.

Who is May Samali?  


May Samali is an investor at the Urban Innovation Fund, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm. May has had extensive experiences advising both early-stage startups and large companies across the U.S. and Australia. Prior to her current role, she was a Director at Tumml, an urban ventures accelerator in San Francisco. She also served as a Strategy Consultant at a boutique venture firm and as an attorney at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney.  

May earned her MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and her economics and law degrees from the University of Sydney. She is also an Australian John Monash Scholar, a Gleitsman Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership, and an Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue delegate.  


Show Highlights 

  • Terri shares how she met May on the Connected Homes pitch panel at Launch Festival in 2017 which was an all-women panel.   

  • May shares her journey from Australia to the Silicon Valley. 

  • May started in law but fell in love with the idea of using social entrepreneurship to solve the world’s problems.  

  • May answers Terri’s question about how the tall poppy syndrome has influenced May in her life.   

  • May is working on bringing the best parts of the Silicon Valley to Australia.  

  • My comments on how helpful people have been to her in getting into investing.  May has taken the opportunity to reach out to people in a very intentional way and follow up after meeting at events.  

  • Terri discusses the importance of saying ‘why not me?’ instead of ‘why me?’ especially for women.  

  • Terri observes that May’s natural authenticity is very attractive and charming and hard to resist.   

  • May talks about how being of the Baha’ Faith influenced her view of the world from day one and later started to live them as a result of her personal choosing when she was in her twenties. 

  • Terri talks about the importance of taking the leap without having it all figured out.  

  • May shares what she started to do when she was overanalyzing a situation.  She said that she would sit across from herself at the table and provide herself with her own advice.   

  • If May had a magic wand, she would make all of us more human and compassionate and living life in the moment.   

  • May’s favorite investor resources are Venture Deals and Information.  


Terri’s Key Takeaway 

If you believe you can do it, you can do it.   


References in the Podcast 



You can follow May on Twitter @maysamali or reach her via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/msamali/ 

You can follow Terri on Twitter at @terrihansonmead or go to her website at www.terrihansonmead.com or on Medium:  https://medium.com/@terrihansonmead.  

Feel free to email Terri at PilotingYourLife@gmail.com. 

To continue the conversation, go to Twitter at @PilotingLife and use hashtag #PilotingYourLife