Aya Somai


Aya joined NEA in 2023 as an investor on the Technology team. Previously, she worked at JP Morgan as an investment banking analyst focused on M&A transactions. She graduated from the University of Chicago, where she majored in economics with a specialization in data science, and minored in art history.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to your work?

I’m a big believer in continually learning, so the always-evolving nature of technology, business, and macroeconomics is what drives my passion. To be able to adapt as these spaces evolve requires consistent curiosity and an open mind toward new ideas and ways of thinking.

What’s been the most helpful piece of advice you’ve received from a colleague?

Make yourself visible and indispensable.

What’s an experience from growing up that has influenced who you are today?

My father was an engineer with a profound passion for agriculture. Growing up, I straddled two worlds: the methodical problem-solving of weekday engineering and the raw, hands-on labor of weekend farming. It taught me to combine analytical precision with hands-on pragmatism.

What’s a trait you had as a child that is still present in you today?

My love for solving puzzles. They ignite my imagination by challenging me to envision the bigger picture when all I have are fragmentary pieces.

If you hadn’t found your way into venture capital, what would you be doing?

I’d likely be building my own product and team. I’ve always been drawn to the iterative process of problem-solving and operating in an environment where there are more questions than answers.

What’s a topic that you geek out about?

Architectural history and conservation.

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