Samala is Co-Founder + Managing Partner at Jump Canon, a venture firm offering early stage investment to founders of spectacular, unconventional and underrepresented backgrounds. She’s been committed to inclusive innovation and disruptive creativity in tech since long before “inclusion” and “disruption” became en vogue.
Samala embodies multitudes — a believer and weaver of strong social fabric, a Wharton business school grad, and a DJ that’s played all over the world. Inexorably unique and grounded in her experiences as a serial creator/founder/entrepreneur, Samala’s accomplishments transcend the confines of any one industry, medium or continent. But is always grounded in community.
She built and co-founded America’s first national organization to serve Asian Pacific American communities online: 18MR.org. Through new media, digital campaigns and groundbreaking online vehicles for civic engagement, her team reached and organized Asian Pacific Americans during an election cycle that saw the highest voter registration and turnout for the country’s fastest growing demographic. She was on the Story of Stuff Project’s founding team as Director of Strategy & Media, creating capacity to entertain, educate and engage over 40 million people globally for environmental justice. Her work and writing in technology, social innovation and civics has been featured at the Obama Administration’s White House LGBTQ Technology & Innovation Summit, at the Aspen Institute, and in Forbes, The New Yorker, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Al-Jazeera and Refinery29.
Prior to launching 18MR.org and seven movies with The Story of Stuff Project, Samala created START Mobile, one of the earliest digital media distribution networks for mobile. The global platform helped more than 500 artists — including Shepard Fairey, Justin Bua, David Choe, and Apex — reach new markets via mobile devices. At peak popularity, START had users and art installations across the United States, Central & South America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, India, China, and Russia. As a consultant, Samala has worked with institutions like Tides, the National Association for Independent Schools, and Intersection for the Arts. She was a Senior Advisor for Social Innovation for Mozilla, contributor to the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society Program, member of New Media Ventures’ Investment Committee, and currently serves on the World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator Advisory Council.