Thursday, April 23, 2015

Social Entrepreneurship – the New Batman


Ask any Austinite what one of the biggest problems is in the city right now and the answer will likely be the same: growth. Traffic, cost of living or running a business, new construction – all of these issues are swelling at an overwhelming rate. Locals are moving because they can no longer afford the city, businesses are closing to make way for new condos, and the quirky “keep Austin weird” culture is slowly getting a bit more normal. For better or worse, Austin is one of the United States of America’s fastest growing cities.


On Monday, I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting between five teams of social entrepreneurs and Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, TX. He explained these pressing challenges and how people are looking to him and government for the solutions … but the truth is, like Batman in Gotham City, social entrepreneurship is the real-life superhero in solving our cities’ biggest problems.


We the people need to be active participants in identifying the problems and then innovate and find solutions using technology as an activator for social responsibility, and do so in a sustainable way. That’s exactly what these five millennial-led startups are doing. They are the next generation of philanthropists – proof that millennials aren’t just the “ME” generation, but the “We through Me” generation.


Creativity is part of the DNA of this city, and true to Austin’s lake-loving spirit, these five teams of entrepreneurs are staying at a house on Lake Travis as they go through an intensive, innovative accelerator workshop – all of which is being filmed for a reality web series. You can follow the journey of these startups as they use IBM Verse and Watson Analytics to guide them through daily challenges at To see where it all began, watch the first episode filmed at SXSW here.

from Social Business Insights Blog

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