Austin has the right ingredients to become a hub for startups focused on doing good things while also making money.
That's the take by Suzi Sosa, co-founder and CEO of Verb, which produces competitions for social entrepreneurs who are working toward solving a global problem.
"We have this thriving startup scene and we also have a very rich social impact community. We have more nonprofits per capital than any other city," Sosa said during a South by Southwest Interactive panel titled Two Ways to Keep the Austin Startup Scene Weird.
"You see the fusion of these two things happening in the startup community," she said. "The great opportunity for us to have a weird startup scene is for us to be national front runners in that way of approaching business."
Sosa cited some two examples of Austin startups:
-Kasita, which is tackling the issue of affordable housing by creating small pre-fabricated dwellings that can be stacked and plugged into city utilities.
-Reaction Housing, which creates inexpensive, reusable portable shelters for disasters such as hurricanes. They can be stacked on semi-trucks to send them to places for disaster relief.
"It's about for-profit and non-profit organizations that put social impact and environmental impact on at least equal footing as financial return," Sosa said. "Austin is the perfect place to be the leader of this."