Our Story

Our Story

StartSomeGood was co-founded by Tom Dawkins, Alex Budak and Renata van Diest, based on a shared desire to help social innovators and local changemakers access the support and resources they need to make a difference.

Tom and Alex met working at Ashoka in Washington DC, an international NGO at the forefront of the social entrepreneurship movement worldwide. Inspired by Ashoka's vision of an ͞Everyone a Changemaker World, they both, separately, began thinking about how to support more grassroots innovation in the social sector.

The inability of the traditional social funding sector to support innovation – i.e. things not yet proven to work – is an acute problem in a world where the pace of change is constantly accelerating. We need new solutions to old problems, and new ideas to take advantage of new opportunities.

But traditional funders weren’t doing a very good job of supporting this innovation, and we saw that crowdfunding could be a powerful tool for rallying early support for new social impact ideas, helping founders and entrepreneurs build a community which would sustain them through the journey of making impact.

StartSomeGood launched on March 1, 2011 and has since helped thousands of projects raise the funds they need to start good. Right from day one we had an unusual commitment to teaching, not just technology, with a focus on providing great, personal, human feedback and advice to everyone looking to start good.

Alex left StartSomeGood in 2012 to work on some exciting projects in Sweden, where he had moved. Tom headed back to Australia that same year for the birth of his first of now two sons, and Renata joined the company as co-founder and CTO soon afterwards.

In 2013 we launched the new version of StartSomeGood and in 2015 unveiled our Partner API, which powers partner platforms like ING’s Dreamstarter. In 2016 we held the first annual #StartingGood Virtual Summit and started designing accelerator and capacity-building programs for partners like Optus, Austral Fishers and the United Nations Development Program. Our Good Hustle Social Enterprise Design program launched in 2019 and the Staring Good Network in 2020.

These days we’re a small but mighty team delivering programs and managing platforms that support social entrepreneurs and social innovation. So if you’re ready to start good, or already doing so, we would love to help!