A changemaker

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NAME: Dani Pico

HOME BASE: Vancouver, soon to be Toronto

Dani’s passion for improving the education system and contributing to social causes through entrepreneurship and innovation is evident through her work. She works for Riipen, a Vancouver based technology start-up focused on providing students with more experiential learning opportunities and is also a member of Global Shapers, a community of young people driven to create impact. Dani joined the Vancouver Connector hub during its launch and will soon be transferring to the Toronto hub as she moves there for work!

What do you love about working with LOI?

My favourite thing about working with LOI is meeting inspiring young people who are trying to make a difference in the world. I think now, more than ever we need people to be thinking about how they can use business as a way to create positive change in society. Everytime I meet someone who is part of the LOI network they have a amazing ideas and are full of drive and passion. I love being able to contribute, even in a small way, to making sure those people feel supported through the community.

Got any passions? What is your life goal and how will you reach it?

Everything! There is so many things in life to be passionate about. My life goal is to change the world. Even if it’s in a small way. There is no actionable plan or metric for this but I measure the success of my life based on how passionate I am to be involved in what I’m doing. I always chase after a sense of adventure, if there is room for growth then it’s always worth pursuing. That, and I want to travel to every country in the world.

Have you ever had a side hustle and what was it?

Not in the traditional sense, I’ve always been more of a supporter of side hustles than a side hustler. I think this word also has alternative definitions. I’ve always been involved in projects outside of school and work. I’m the type of person who has trouble saying no to projects I think are worth while so I always find myself involved with community events, volunteer groups, friend’s businesses, consulting etc.

What's your superpower?

My super power is bringing people together and helping build communities. If I could have any superpower, it would be to speak every language on demand.

The best advice you could give to a young entrepreneur is to…

Embrace the ride, you need to learn to buckle up and take the highs with the lows. I think regardless of the result, it’s always going to be an amazing and worthwhile journey to create something of your own. It will give you experience and exposure and will challenge you in ways you wouldn’t have been challenged otherwise.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
I love podcasts! I listen to them on my commute, when I’m biking and when I’m walking around the city. My favourites are almost all by NPR. I love Hidden Brain, Planet Money, How I Built This, and the non NPR ones, 99% Invisible, and Masters of scale.


The biggest influencer) in your life?

The biggest influencers in my life are my parents. My dad, is incredibly hard working and a great mentor. He’s always pushed me to pursue my crazy adventures and supported me through them. He has a tough love personality but ultimately, he’s the person I go to for the big questions in life. My mom is the sun, she’s the motivation and positivity. She taught me that outlook is everything and continues to remind me that life is all about your attitude towards challenges. She’s the best person to put things into perspective and remind you that every experience good or bad is an opportunity to learn.