In 2017, our goal is to expand Wake Up’s role as a social impact engine by engaging with Austin companies and communities to actively support their positive impact goals. We see an opportunity to connect corporations that want to make a rapid difference to nimble, action-oriented entrepreneurial talent. At the same time, we want expand how we support entrepreneurs by connecting them with mission-aligned corporate partners and sponsors so they can scale the difference they are making.
We believe that social impact entrepreneurs and corporate social responsibility departments can be stronger together if all parties bring their strengths and hearts to the table. This kind of synergy means that partnerships between the CSR departments and the startup community can be greater than the sum of their parts.
We want to support a difference that is sustainable and scalable, help positive impact professionals burn long and bright instead of out, and show that it is indeed possible to make a difference while making a profit. We are already starting to shape the programs and partnerships that will activate this community, and we’d love to talk more about how we can make it happen together.
There are more than 20 social impact businesses in residence with dedicated office space or desks at Impact Hub Austin where Wake Up is based, including:
More than 100 entrepreneurs and freelancers work out of the general coworking space, aligning and collaborating on a variety of positive impact projects.
Since 2011, non-profits and social impact companies
have collectively raised more than $4.5 million at Vuka’s event venues
Local partners who support Vuka Collective include
Traditionally there have been two models for effecting change through business: Either a startup works overtime to find customers and funding or a non-profit endlessly seeks patronage. We see the opportunity to take what works from these models and create a new way forward. We already have a model that works, and now we want turn it on even more and amplify the impact with committed community partners. We have the facilitators, the network, and the agility to move fast. We need partners who can bring ideas, wisdom, and funding to the table.
We found that for positive impact to be sustainable, the people making it happen need to stay healthy, growing, and learning. All of our programs focus on creating a hands-on, get-out-of-the-building experience to get people moving and building.
Our deep ties to the Austin community mean that we can pair corporations with the right change-makers to rapidly bring ideas to life. We are exploring a range of co-creative partnership options, from helping CSR departments find entrepreneurial teams to execute on existing ideas to providing the offsite location and programmatic infrastructure for a CSR team to get to work in the company of our social impact community.
We are excited to bring together select partners for an inaugural 2017 social impact accelerator. Launching from the existing Impact Hub location in South Austin and expanding to utilize two new locations over the course of the year, this is a chance to partner with local start-ups and entrepreneurs, create measurable social impact and leadership development, and cap off the experience with a demo day that showcases innovative corporate CSR concepts.