Vanessa Herrera born in the Bronx, New York with over 30 years of Martial Arts Experience is the Creator of the 1st ever musically recognized Martial Arts Tournament since 2005. MRMAT conducted three major tournaments; one in the Bronx, Manhattan, and San Antonio Texas. Vanessa has been featured in 14 Music Videos, 2 movies, and in various magazines. Notably, she has also been featured in the Black belt Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Honors. Vanessa graduated from Franklin Pierce University with a degree in Social Work and Counseling conducts motivational seminars and parenting class. She also happens to be the creator of the newest video game MRMAT 2K16 set to be release this fall of 2016 on all Android and IPhone.
In your own words what do you do?
Help Music Artists put their name on a positive event. Give Martial Arts recognition and quality cash prizes. Give Martial Artists a chance to be feature in a Video game.
What led you to your current business?
I have been in Martial Arts since I was 6 years old (30 years). I was undefeated for 4 years from the age of 11-15 years old. By the time I was 15 years old I had over 120 trophies. At 16 years old I had a dream of having my own Martial Arts tournament. I wanted to have a tournament that gave more to the Martial Artists. Each of my tournaments has given out $5000 in cash prizes, $1000 in each division. Each competitor received a gift bag with CDs, posters, shirts from sponsors.
Could you walk us through your process of developing your business?
In developing my business I conducted a search of every Martial Arts School in the United States and International gathering an email list with phone, and fax numbers. I reached out to every record label and every major artists for support. I have been working with Interscope records for 9 years. With Interscope Records they have sponsored all promotional items given at the tournament. I visited every Martial Arts/Karate Schools in my area and through out the U.S. promoting Artists and the Tournament. Every competitor of the tournament received s a gift bag with CDs, posters, t-shirts from the Interscope Record label.
Did you encounter any particular difficulties in the beginning?
Since coming up with the concept I had difficulties for people understanding that the Music and Martial Arts Tournament has meant to be positive an event that children, teens, and adults want to come too. I had difficulties with Major music artists supporting the event. Due to the difficulties we have made the tournament into a game to get people to see the vision. The game will sponsor the next tournament cash prizes and all winners of the tournament get feature in MRMAT 2K17.
What is your long term plan?
My long term goal is to have a tournament in the four major city and one international tournament in one year. To give out $5,000-10,000 in each grand champion division. For all winners of the tournament to get feature in the video game for that year.
Could you share with us some industry insights?
In order to grow in this business I had to line myself up like a Artists and not only build my business but build myself. Since my last tournament I have gone on a 17 State Tour traveling throughout the U.S. gaining recognition, and building a connection with individuals in the music industry.
What are some important lessons you’ve learnt about entrepreneurship?
I have learned nothing in life is guaranteed. I have learned that nothing comes over night and if you want something you have to work every day for it. It may not come tomorrow, next year, or even five years but if you keep working for what you want you will see results.
Any tips for achieving success?
Never give up!