Rubén Cantú, Executive Director of The Office of Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Austin
“Everyone is born with the capacity to be a genius, but only some are audacious to identify and develop their gifts to an exceptional level of excellence and share them with the world. The world is calling for more geniuses, will you answer the call?”
Rubén is a first-generation college graduate raised in East Austin as a son of immigrants. He holds a B.S. in Radio-TV-Film from the Moody College of Communications and an M.S. in Technology Commercialization from the McCombs School of Business, both from The University of Texas at Austin.
He has founded various startups and as a social entrepreneur, his ambitions are focused on establishing a platform through media and entrepreneurship that allows society to reflect on its condition and spur progressive change.
CORE Media Strategies, founded in 2009, is a socially conscious marketing consultancy. He is also the founder of SocialGood.us, 2012, a national platform for social innovation, action tank, an accelerator which is part of the Social Good Summit where he serves as a global connector and Director of Business Development.
LevelUp Institute, launched in 2016, is a career accelerator for first-generation college students. These students are from historically low income and marginalized backgrounds and are taught entrepreneurial startup skills through product management by industry experts. This is used as a pathway to entering the world of tech startups. This co-ed experiential accelerator teaches students how to create wealth and bring products into the market.
He currently serves as the Director of Inclusive Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin.
Rubén graduated from Leadership Austin’s Essential class of ‘14. He was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year for Austin Under 40 in 2015. He also was nominated for Changemaker of the Year in 2016 by the Austin Young Chamber. Ruben was recognized as the 2018 Glen Baumgart Award for Visionary and Community Engagement at the UT Tower Awards.
As an international bilingual speaker and trainer on startups and social innovation, he is helping shift the focus to triple bottom line economics. When not working, he focuses on being a bridge between the local community and international issues that break barriers and foster peace and prosperity. He also is an avid music lover and Jeopardy enthusiast.