March 12, 2024
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Introducing Daniela Terminel, VP of Network

Daniela Terminel recently joined the Kauffman Fellows team as VP of Network. Dani is all about entrepreneurship. She spent over a decade supporting entrepreneurs at Endeavor, where she was a key architect of the network experience for over 2,000 high-impact entrepreneurs from multiple industries and scaled the organization to more than 30 markets. After more than ten years at Endeavor, Dani jumped into entrepreneurship herself, co-founding and leading Elephant in a Box, a material science company specializing in honeycomb-inspired structures for furniture and beyond. Throughout her extensive career, Daniela has recognized the pivotal role of robust networks in driving sustainable global change. Now, as the VP of Network at Kauffman, she brings her entrepreneurial experience, strategic thinking, and a sincere dedication to fostering meaningful connections in the entrepreneurial landscape. We’re thrilled to have Dani join our team and recently sat down with her to learn more about her journey and what she’s looking forward to most at Kauffman Fellows.

Can you share a pivotal moment from your experience at Endeavor that significantly shaped your understanding of entrepreneurship and its challenges?

At Endeavor, I worked with entrepreneurs from different industries, stages, and geographies. They were so diverse and, at the same time, so similar. Whether they were developing groundbreaking technology or operating a chain of restaurants, they had many commonalities, from a clear, bold vision to the struggles of finding funding, talent, or becoming the best version of themselves.

It was clear that entrepreneurship, as sexy as it sounds, is a complex, lonely, and tough road, where the power of a network and being part of a trusted community can make a difference between success and failure. 
Transitioning from supporting entrepreneurs to co-founding a material science company is a significant shift. What motivated you to take on the entrepreneurial role with Elephant in a Box?

I felt like I was on the bench, being that team player who makes a difference and is key to winning championships but is never actually on the field. I wanted to see, feel, and learn what being on the field is like. I was confident that by being surrounded by so many amazing entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors, we had a good chance of building something special. 

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

“Slow down when you are in a hurry.” By taking time to think things through, letting your emotions cool down, or paying more attention to detail, you will save time in the long run by avoiding mistakes and arguments while gaining clarity.  

How has your entrepreneurial journey with Elephant in a Box influenced your perspective on fostering connections within the entrepreneurial landscape?

My entrepreneurial journey made it more apparent that going alone is not an option. The power of networks and communities is everything.

Trusted relationships are the foundation of any successful business.

This connectivity allows you to learn from others, share best practices, discuss current trends, access new resources, and keep a balanced perspective between your day-to-day activities and your long-term vision. 

In your role at Kauffman Fellows, what specific strategies do you plan to deploy to build and strengthen our network?

Solid relationships have one common factor: TRUST. During the two-year Kauffman Fellows program, Fellows build trusted relationships with their classmates and other Fellows. This incredibly strong foundation is nurtured with lifetime access to virtual and in-person opportunities to meet, ask questions, share resources, and learn from each other. We have the brightest minds in our network; our role is to be enablers and provide opportunities for magic to happen. 

How do you ensure that the networks fostered at Kauffman Fellows are not just extensive but also meaningful and impactful?

Curation & Intention. By enabling our fellows to keep connecting in meaningful, curated ways, we increase their probabilities of success at every level.

Kauffman Fellows is known for its focus on leadership development. How do you incorporate leadership principles into the network-building efforts to empower entrepreneurs to lead with impact?

Consistency. During in-person or virtual events, we can create opportunities for Fellows to connect. From peer-to-peer sessions to content delivery to hands-on workshops, Fellows can keep learning and flexing their leadership muscles in meaningful ways. Continuous learning with top-notch content has to be a constant. 

You helped scale the organization to more than 30 markets. How do you foster community across geographies?

Even though technology has come a long way, especially when it comes to communications, we still need that personal connection as humans. That's why we’ll continue to be very intentional and foster these connections with four different in-person opportunities: Two network days during the program modules, an annual summit, and a regional trek. In this setup, our fellows will have two events in the US and two abroad, allowing them to immerse in different cultures and ecosystems and leverage their similarities to increase cross-border/cohort connections. 

What similarities do you see between Endeavor and Kauffman Fellows?

Both organizations share the belief that entrepreneurship drives long-term sustainable change.

By focusing on the two key factors in this equation, entrepreneurs and investors, they create a virtuous circle where better entrepreneurs attract better investors, and better investors make better entrepreneurs.

This results in more success stories, each with an incredible waterfall effect in the ecosystem. Both organizations are value-driven and able to attract the best in class, which sets them apart from others.