A Look Back on All We Accomplished in 2015 By Ruben Cantu
Our community continues to lead in many areas. As one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, we have a thriving tech community offering many jobs to our friends and neighbors. Our downtown is booming and we are attracting even more Fortune 500 companies. The Austin that we had just 3 years ago when we first started will not look like the Austin we will create together in 3 years. If we take this moment to look at this as a mid point of where we have come as a city and a movement, we have done a lot of work!
Just this year our team at Austin + Social Good has grown our Social Innovator’s Meetup community to close to 400 members, we have had consecutive sold out meetups around the topics of social innovation. We held our third Accelerator & Fast Pitch Event in October. We have helped over 16 social enterprise startups go through our program. We have raised over $20,000 to give away to these companies and much more of in-kind services from our team and partners.
In addition to the work we are doing to expand our social enterprise community we have taken our work into the schools, this past year we helped create the “Startup Superstars” competition alongside the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We invited these students from Title 1 schools to come and pitch and compete at our 3rd annual SXSW event.
On the community side we expanded our work and pilot project “Work From Home Day” to Mobility Week for the second year in Austin with a great team of government committees and local businesses. We worked for 8 months behind the scenes and had the Rocky Mountain Institute select Austin as the lead implementation city for their innovative plan to ease mobility issues. We are committed to making sure we deliver on our initial promise to make a difference and cultural change for our community regarding this traffic, clear air, and mobility issue.
Our team has grown from just a few to a sizable staff all who have been working as volunteers in effort to help drive this larger vision we believe in forward. Austin will continue to grow, companies will continue to create profit, but what will our identity and legacy be in the next three years? Will we have set ourselves aparts and played to our natural strengths as a community to lead in this space? We as a team believe we can and are doing so.
This letter is written to you the community as a thank you and an invitation to continue to join us in this movement as we reach more people, show results and incorporate your innovative ideas to make our city the leading city in social impact.
In 2016 we are going to dig in even further, and invite you to become a part of our movement. In order to expand our impact and become sustainable as an entity we will need your support. Therefore our number one focus is how do we deliver the resources and tools you need to become successful and social innovators and entrepreneurs. What do you need in order to walk down this path? We have workshops, speaker series, meetups, conferences, online communities we will be building for you. This is an exciting time for Austin and our team. We know we have a lot to build but with your help we can make it happen. If you have attended one of our events, if you have participated in one of our programs, if you have been watching us from the sidelines seeing what this is all about, this is your invitation to jump in. Over the next couple of weeks and months we are going to be re-launching our website, publishing new content and leading off with serving you the social entrepreneurial and impact community in mind. Our team and I look forward meeting you in person, shaking your hand, getting to know you and your efforts so we can find ways to connect you to the people, resources and capital you may be needing to get to the next step.