Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson held a press conference this morning to announce Pinnacle Group CEO Nina Vaca as Dallas’ first entrepreneur-in-residence. In her role, Vaca will advise the mayor and promote Dallas as an international magnet for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The new position was recommended earlier this year by the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which he formed to better promote the start-up environment in the city.
“As a Dallas-based leader for 25 years, Nina Vaca has demonstrated the entrepreneurial skills and commitment to entrepreneurship that make her the ideal choice to represent our city’s entrepreneurial community,” Mayor Johnson said in a statement.
“I have no doubt that as our very first entrepreneur-in-residence, she will provide incredible insight to our city government and our emerging and diverse community of startup executives,” added Johnson. “Together, with Nina’s help, we can ensure that Dallas takes its rightful place as an internationally recognized and inclusive hub for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Raising awareness of entrepreneurship in Dallas locally, nationally and globally
Vaca founded the Pinnacle Group in 1996 from her Dallas apartment. 25 years later she turned her company into one an award-winning global HR solutions provider. The Pinnacle Group recently reaffirmed its commitment to the city with a new global headquarters on the North Central Expressway.
“The Pinnacle Group is living proof that Dallas is a great city for entrepreneurship and startups, but not enough people know it,” Vaca told Dallas Innovates. “By raising awareness locally, nationally and globally, we hope to attract more innovators and entrepreneurs to the city while preserving the amazing talent we already have.”
The new Entrepreneur-in-Residence aims to help keep Dallas at the forefront of the 21st century economy while increasing the prosperity of the city and its people.
“While Dallas is known as a great place for big business, now we need to show that we are also a great place for scalable, sustainable, high-growth startups,” added Vaca.
From focusing on needs to expanding the pipeline of young entrepreneurs
Vaca says her most important role in the new position will be to be a public voice and advocate in building Dallas’ reputation as a premier city for entrepreneurship and innovation.
She will also advise the mayor and other city guides based on her 25 years of experience as a Dallas-based entrepreneur. “I will help highlight the unique needs of entrepreneurs and how best to attract, support and retain them,” Vaca told us.
Another important goal is to find ways to get students and other young people excited about entrepreneurship.
“To grow the pipeline of young entrepreneurs, we need to go upstream and teach them that they can develop these skills that lead to amazing opportunities,” said Vaca. “It’s not for everyone, but we need to reach those who need to see it in order to be.”
“By showing young people that entrepreneurship is a viable career and life path, we will benefit from increasing the number of those who are committed to the ideas and innovations of the next generation,” she added.
Strive for more startup support for various entrepreneurs
Vaca is interested in more than just plans. Their goal is to achieve results – starting with the targeted support of entrepreneurs and startups in order to “encourage more creativity, stimulate investment and stimulate innovation in the city”.
She also wants to strengthen the work organizations that already support entrepreneurs here – “particularly heterogeneous entrepreneurs in the city” – and use these organizations to encourage more support and advocacy.
Price: “Nina is a real pioneer who paved the way for women”
Mandy Price, Kanarys co-founder and CEO and co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, describes Vaca as “a true pioneer who pioneered women in Dallas and across the country.”
Price told Dallas Innovates, “Partnering with entrepreneurs is an important part of the roadmap we put in place earlier this year. Nina will help us bring our roadmap to fruition and deliver a new mindset. She will also help identify and create a pipeline of projects to support entrepreneurs, innovations and startups across Dallas. “
“One of the strengths of our city is the abundance of talented entrepreneurs and we must all work together to drive growth and innovation,” added Price. “Nina will bring a new perspective to the task force and help the city think creatively about how entrepreneurs and startups can be supported. Part of their role will act as a liaison between the business community and the city of Dallas, as well as ensuring that companies support the initiatives outlined in our roadmap.
By working with Vaca as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Price believes the Mayor’s Task Force will successfully achieve the goals set out in their roadmap, including “increasing funding for various and underserved startups, implementing initiatives that Bringing VCs and Different Entrepreneurs together ”. , more startup exits and new jobs in Dallas through startups. “
“Especially as an entrepreneur and woman of color,” Price said in the statement. “[Vaca] knows firsthand the challenges we must face to ensure that Dallas is a top city for underrepresented entrepreneurs, especially women and people of color. “
Bowles: Vaca is “one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs”
Trey Bowles, chairman emeritus of the DEC network and co-chair of the mayor’s task force, said Vaca’s appointment was an important step.
“By announcing Nina Vaca in this role, we can leverage the experience, expertise and reputation of one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs,” Bowles said in a statement. “Nina was part of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) program launched by President Obama, and she is a perfect example of a woman leader in entrepreneurship.”
“She is an example of why Mayor Johnson is committed to making Dallas the number one business woman entrepreneur,” he added.
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