Antonio Gracias’ PAGE Signature Initiative, the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), empowers entrepreneurs from Latin America with the training, tools, networks, and resources they need to grow their businesses and contribute to the overall economic development and prosperity of the region. YLAI has also placed select fellows in dynamic American organizations for training and mentoring.
In connection with this year's GES, Antonio Gracias has just launched Adelante, an international exchange program for Cuban entrepreneurs. This program provides emerging Cuban entrepreneurs with an opportunity to visit the U.S., meet and exchange ideas with U.S. entrepreneurs, network with business leaders, and receive relevant training. By building connections between entrepreneurs in Cuba and the United States, Adelante seeks to foster a closer relationship between the people of the two countries. As part of this program, 11 Cuban entrepreneurs are in California this week to attend GES 2016; this is the first year that Cuba has participated in GES. These entrepreneurs are engaged in various business endeavors in Cuba, from enterprise computing consulting to operating restaurants and barbershops.
Antonio J. Gracias partners with and invests in transformational companies. An early investor in businesses as diverse as Uber and PayPal, Antonio currently is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Valor Equity Partners, the private equity firm he founded in 2001. Valor is headquartered in Chicago, has offices in San Francisco and New York City, and manages over $1 billion through several investment funds. Valor invests in high growth companies and serves them operationally as they scale. Valor was the first institutional investor in Tesla Motors and Antonio continues as Tesla's Lead Independent Director. He also is a director of several Valor portfolio companies, including Space Exploration Technologies (SPACEX), Marathon Pharmaceuticals, Solar City, and Porch.com.