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MWM Entrepreneurship Council Chair, Nina Vaca, Spoke at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Jul 26,2016

MWM Entrepreneurship Council Chair, Nina Vaca, Spoke at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit   

Tues July 26, 2016      

          Every year the world’s leaders and future leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship come together to address the world’s latest challenges and to foster relationships between entrepreneurs and investors.1 Previous summits have been held in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya. This year the summit returned to the U.S., to a place known for its entrepreneurs and its innovation - Silicon Valley.

            The summit provides a diverse range of activities for participants that encourages them to network and foster relationships, such as “workshops, panels, ignite talks, pitch competitions, mentoring, and networking sessions.” 2 Of all the activities, however, the opportunity to network with industry experts is the most valuable. One such industry expert is Nina Vaca, Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Group.

 Nina Vaca and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker at GES

            For the past 19 years, Vaca has tirelessly lead the growth of Pinnacle Group into the successful and dynamic company that it is today.3 For her efforts she has received numerous awards, such as the Goldman Sachs Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs and the NBC Innovator awards in 2013. In 2005, Vaca was not only the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year but she was also inducted into the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

          Vaca’s accolades are undoubtedly impressive, but more impressive still is her track record of leadership in her community. She works relentlessly to pave the way for other female entrepreneurs. Her leadership on this front can be seen through her creation of At the Table – Women in Business Leadership, an initiative of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She also is the chair for STEMconnector’s Million Women Mentors’ Entrepreneurship Council, which aims to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in STEM through mentorship.

            When it comes to entrepreneurs, Vaca’s most notable leadership role is her work with The Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) initiative. This year, as a PAGE Ambassador, Vaca was featured in the summit’s video on entrepreneurship alongside other industry experts such as Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and CEO of KIND Snacks; Julie Hanna, Executive Chair of the Board of Kiva; Brian Chesky, Co-founder & CEO of Airbnb; Daphne Koller, President & CO-founder of Coursera; and Steve Case, Chairman of Revolution. In the video Vaca asks us to question what the world would be like without entrepreneurs; a world without Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, Mark Zuckerberg, or Bill Gates.4 These entrepreneurs represent the car, the airplane, Facebook, and Microsoft, inventions that would make our world look much different if they never existed. That is why it is so important that people like Nina Vaca and programs like the Global Entrepreneurship Summit exist, because innovation and entrepreneurs are the key to a better future.

            The Summit is designed to help future leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs by opening up doors that otherwise would have remained shut. “Building ecosystems of networks where you can meet people that are like-minded is the recipe for success for entrepreneurs,” says Vaca in the video.5 That is why the Summit is so important, it connects experienced entrepreneurs and leaders like Nina Vaca to those who are trying to start their own entrepreneurial journeys. In the process, valuable networks and relationships are forged that can prove integral to the success of an entrepreneur.

            Entrepreneurs face a tough road, they hear the word “no” more than they hear the word “yes”, but with people like Nina Vaca out there to help them and remind them that “the word no…is just part of the journey of success” perhaps it doesn’t have to be.6

            To watch the full video click here.