Austin Startup Week Social Impact Day: Afternoon Recap

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Thank you to everyone who attended the Austin Startup Week Social Impact Track this past Tuesday at Meet At Relay. A part of the eighth annual Austin Startup Week, the Social Impact Day was a fantastic mix of networking, panels, talks, learning opportunities, and fun!

Cohosted by The Center for Social Innovation and Techstars Impact, social entrepreneurs, community leaders, and innovators gathered together for a full day of sessions focused on how Austinities are driving impact in everything from more informed voting and civic engagement, to building a purposeful brand, to creating more diverse, homegrown tech talent in Austin.

Check out some of the takeaways from the afternoon session of Austin Startup Week Social Impact Day!

Becoming a More Informed Voter

Texas has the lowest turnout of any state in the country. Kate Donaho from Honor Roll and Sarah Ortiz Shields and David Edmonson from Austin Tech Alliance are on a mission to not only increase voter turnout, but get voters more informed. That’s why they joined us to tell us more about Informed.vote, a place where residents are able to search all questions posed by community groups and get answers direct from the candidates - all in one place!

Building Strategic Parnterships

Many for-profit companies want to create community impact, but get caught up in red tape trying to navigate the nonprofit landscape. Building strategic alignments surrounding shared missions in the community is a turnkey solution that provides all the benefits of a corporate foundation with none of the common challenges associated with running an independent nonprofit organization.

“Mission alignment is the bedrock of finding a good partner. If you don’t have buy-in and alignment on mission, the value of that relationship falls away.” - Austin Buchan ,CEO of College Forward.

“There is a way to repeatedly and reliably create a result. We’re just trying to create the environment and space for those collaborations and innovations to happen.” -Matt McDonnell, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Notley.

Meet the Faces of Social Impact in Austin

We featured four Austin-based social impact entrepreneurs who spoke about their experiences incorporating a social mission as a key component of their for-profit business model.

On the Future of Austin’s Social Impact Ecosystem

Austin’s social impact ecosystem is bigger than ever. Yet historically, Austin has been one of the world capitals for nonprofits - with over 7,000 per capita! As innovative startups and entrepreneurs have flocked to Austin, social impact has begun to spread to business and technology sectors.

Brent Wistrom, Senior Editor at American Inno,  sat down with Dan Graham, CoFounder of Notley, and Trevor Boehm, Program Manager of Techstar’s Impact, to discuss what is on the horizon for Austin’s growing social impact scene. Some of the biggest insights we took away from the conversation included:

  1. “The importance of not losing sight of the founders themselves and the people creating the change.” - Trevor Boehm, Program Manager at Techstars Impact.

  2. When talking about the challenges ahead, Dan Graham shared the need for us to overcome the tendency for innovation and progress to be demonized. Instead, we need to “maintain dialogue and keep the focus on everyday people’s problems.” - Dan Graham, CoFounder of Notley.

  3. “We need to change the way for-profits think about creating impact and the way nonprofits think about scaling their mission.” - Dan Graham

Thanks to Techstars Impact Accelerator and The Center for Social Innovation for co-hosting this year’s first Social Impact Track at Austin Startup Week! Special thanks to Cisco for sponsoring Lyft rides for attendees throughout the day, Meet At Relay for hosting the Impact Track venu, and to Huston-Tillotson for hosting the Relay Coworking popup for panelists and participants to work in between sessions.

WANT TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE?

Learn more about the Relay Coworking social impact community. Sign up now and receive $50 off dedicated desks and $25 off general memberships for the first 3 months.

HOSTING A GATHERING?

Book Meet At Relay for $1,000 for all evening gatherings in October. Includes a 10-hour rental period plus post-event cleaning and on-site venue manager.

Austin Startup Week Social Impact Day: Morning Recap

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Thank you to everyone who attended the Austin Startup Week Social Impact Track this past Tuesday at Meet At Relay. A part of the eighth annual Austin Startup Week, the Social Impact Day was a fantastic mix of networking, panels, talks, learning opportunities, and fun!

Cohosted by The Center for Social Innovation and Techstars Impact, social entrepreneurs, community leaders, and innovators gathered together for a full day of sessions focused on how Austinities are driving impact in everything from more informed voting and civic engagement, to building a purposeful brand, to creating more diverse, homegrown tech talent in Austin.

Check out some of the takeaways from the morning session of Austin Startup Week Social Impact Day!

Branding with Purpose

When done well, branding can help solve cultural and societal problems. Austin Startup Week’s Social Impact Track kicked off a dialogue between Austin's socially minded entrepreneurs, brand experts, and startups who are building brands that give back. “Your mission is the thing that you’re here to do that only you can do, so bring that to your business” -Justin Foster of Root + River.

Diversity in Tech

Economic segregation leads to opportunity engagement, and the need in Austin is to shift the intent to bridge the gap into actual action that results in greater impact.  We learned that in order to begin to solve these issues and bridge these gaps, we have to stop saying that there are no candidates in the pipeline, and instead:

  • Nurture empathy.  Economic segregation leads to opportunity segregation

  • Find leaders who are willing to make innovative, bold moves.

  • Lean into discomfort and be willing to challenge your own internal biases or redefine your threshold for “normal.”

Impact Investing in Austin

Measuring and pitching your impact to an investor is one of today’s biggest challenges. We sat down with Oksana Malysheva from Sputnik ATX, Juan Thurman from the Southwest Angel Network, and Trevor Boehm from Techstars Impact to hear firsthand what they look for when evaluating the ROI for impact-based businesses.

What we learned was:

  1. The importance of an operational dashboard that reports on your business as well as your impact metrics.

  2. Curiosity, passion, vision and grit - along with a personal connection to the issue - make the best social entrepreneurs.

  3. Be so good they can't ignore you. In other words, share the assumptions you started with and what you’ve learned along the way. Your pitch should feature your team’s strengths and validate the problem you’re uniquely positioned to solve.

To see some of their favorite companies in this space, check out Teacher Talent from Sputnik ATX and Zipline from Techstars Impact.

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Thanks to Techstars Impact and The Center for Social Innovation for co-hosting this year’s first Social Impact Track at Austin Startup Week! Special thanks to Cisco for sponsoring Lyft rides for attendees throughout the day, Meet At Relay for hosting the Impact Track venu, and to Huston-Tillotson for hosting the Relay Coworking popup for panelists and participants to work in between sessions.

WANT TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE?

Learn more about the Relay Coworking social impact community. Sign up now and receive $50 off dedicated desks and $25 off general memberships for the first 3 months.

HOSTING A GATHERING?

Book Meet At Relay for $1,000 for all evening gatherings in October. Includes a 10-hour rental period plus post-event cleaning and on-site venue manager.

Get Out And Make An Impact! Presenting the Austin Startup Week Social Impact Track hosted by The Center for Social Innovation & Techstars Impact Accelerator

Get Out And Make An Impact! Presenting the Austin Startup Week Social Impact Track hosted by The Center for Social Innovation & Techstars Impact Accelerator

The Center for Social Innovation and Techstars Impact Accelerator are proud to host this year’s Social Impact Track at Meet At Relay on October 2nd. We’re bringing together social entrepreneurs making a change in our ecosystem for a curated selection of community leaders and innovators.

Texas Cities that Give

Texas Cities that Give

Texas is home to some of the largest and most successful businesses in the country, dominating the Fortune 500 list and ranking as one of the wealthiest states in the country. The Lone Star state has one of the biggest state-wide populations, a huge economy, and a business climate that is ripe to cultivate entreprises. But not only does Texas have a large footprint, it is on the brink of being the state the gives back the most growing impact. In 2016, Texas ranked sixth in the nation for charitable giving. It’s also home to some of the most philanthropic-minded communities that have far surpassed previous year’s charity.  Let’s take a look.

Impact at Scale Profile: Austin Buchan of College Forward

Impact at Scale Profile: Austin Buchan of College Forward

The Impact at Scale Profile Series brought to you by Philanthropitch spotlights finalist alumni from Philanthropitch. Every month we profile different finalists and how they are expanding their impact and scaling the programs they pitched at Philanthropitch.

Austin Buchan is the CEO at College Forward, a nonprofit whose intensive, culturally-appropriate mentoring programs propel students from underserved backgrounds to collegiate success and remunerative careers. They collaborate with respected practitioners to distill best practices into high-efficient program models, supported by a technology platform. Austin presented at this past Philanthropitch Austin as part of his second year participating in Philanthropitch.

Scaling Your Impact to New Cities

Scaling Your Impact to New Cities

Scaling your nonprofit organization beyond your existing network and client base can be daunting. Not to mention, even figuring out where to start can be a massive challenge.

Where will new donors or new clients come from? Who do you need to hire to support the scale? Is the current infrastructure sufficient? Should I scale geographically, program selection, client type, or in some other way first? Where's the lowest hanging fruit?

A Look at the 7 Essential Elements of Being a Scalable, Innovative Nonprofit & Why They’re Important

A Look at the 7 Essential Elements of Being a Scalable, Innovative Nonprofit & Why They’re Important

Identifying your core values and foundation is essential for the success of your nonprofit. While there are seven core elements necessary to understand your organization, only 11% of nonprofits excel at all seven, and more than 80% struggle with at least one. Make sure your organization knows and can clearly define each element to ensure future stability and viability.


How to Create an Event Host Committee

How to Create an Event Host Committee

Fundraising and community engagement events are crucial drivers for nonprofit organizations. However, these events are hard to plan, and nonprofits do not usually have the time or resources to do so. Leveraging the networks and knowledge of a host committee in addition to your own can save your organization time and ensure that your event is a well-run hit.

When looking for potential members of your host committee, it is important to look for people with strong connections to high-net worth individuals and a widespread personal or professional network. They can capitalize on these connections to plan your event and expand your cause to people in their network.

READ THE FULL POST ON RELAY EVENTS

Practicing Environmental Stewardship: Keep Austin Beautiful

Practicing Environmental Stewardship: Keep Austin Beautiful

Keep Austin Beautiful provides resources and education to engage citizens in building more beautiful communities. The organization was established by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in 1985 to preserve Austin’s quality of life. Their vision? For Austin to be the cleanest, most beautiful community.

Social Innovators: Zoe Schlag of Techstars Impact Accelerator

Social Innovators: Zoe Schlag of Techstars Impact Accelerator

Techstars is the global network helping entrepreneurs succeed through accelerator programs, mentorship, funding, and resources.  This year, they announced their newest track, the Techstars Impact Accelerator and we caught up with Zoe Schlag, Managing Director to get the full story on how they are changing the impact investment landscape.

Introducing Relay Coworking: Where Texas-Sized Impact Takes Off

Introducing Relay Coworking: Where Texas-Sized Impact Takes Off

Relay Coworking is a new space for ambitious, no-nonsense social entrepreneurs creating scalable change in the world. 

We started by asking a simple question, "Can we scale and sustain more social ventures through an immersive, cause-based community?". That question was asked over three years ago and has since evolved to what we're proud to debut today - Relay Coworking at The Center for Social Innovation.

Relay means the transfer of information amplified over an interwoven network. The network is our community of members that share something important in common - they are all making an impact. We're looking for determined social entrepreneurs who are ready to take their idea to the next level. Whether you just started developing a cause-based application or are in the middle of raising capital, we surround you with everything you need to scale and be successful.

We know how hard it can be to create impact without the right resources or connections. That's why it is in our DNA to provide great teams with educational programs, capital resources, entrepreneurial support systems, and the best impact-minded network around.