Co-founders Alex and Tom first connected while working at Ashoka: Innovators for the Public around their shared belief in the power of technology and media to empower changemakers around the world. Inspired by Alex’s travels in India, the concept for StartSomeGood arose after many late night, coffee-fuelled discussions, and was built on by our developer team which first met while camping out together for UCLA basketball games. Our current team is spread throughout the world, proving that even time zones can’t get in the way of a group inspired to make an impact.
Alex Budak received a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Geography from UCLA, where he didn’t miss a single home basketball game. He's spoken on social entrepreneurship at the White House, the World Bank and leading universities, and is a member of the Sandbox Network, a YouthActionNet fellow and a StartingBloc fellow.
Tom Dawkins is a serial social entrepreneur and the Australian co-founder of StartSomeGood. He previously founded award-winning Australia non-profit Vibewire and was the first Social Media Director at Ashoka. He has worked with numerous non-profits, associations and government entities to help them tell their stories and build community. He’s founded a film festival, opened Australia’s first co-working space and set-up a Burning Man Theme Camp with his wife Kate. They returned to Australia in 2012 after four years in the US in time for the birth of their first child, Bodhi..
Venture Support Team
Clem Auyeung is a biology graduate who planned on pursuing architecture until he realized that he was more interested in combining business with building social movements. He has since volunteered for Ashoka, written for a social entrepreneurship website, and taken part in the social impact and startup community in Minneapolis. When he is not working, you can usually find him making up recipes or biking around his favorite urban lake.
Patty Simonton likes to work behind the scenes to make it possible for others to bring their dreams to life. She has a degree in International Business from Georgetown University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. The world is her playground, and she aims to make it beautiful. She is currently producing FIGMENT DC, a free, participatory arts festival, and bartends at her neighborhood watering hole.
Diana is a graduate of Pepperdine University and the VCU Brandcenter. She has professional experience working in the planning department of award-winning advertising agencies, assisting the fundraising efforts of a nonprofit focused on ocean conservation, and providing Guest Relations services as an NBC Page (see: Kenneth Parcell from 30 Rock). Besides supporting social entrepreneurs, she is a recreational cyclist, unabashed cat person, and nerd in constant pursuit of trivia.
Michael Royston is in the process of starting his own good. Right now you'll find him living, working and cycling around Beijing- trying to speak Chinese.
Communications and Community Team
Nicole Ricchione is an MBA student at Rutgers Business School in Newark, NJ. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and involves herself in various social change projects in the NYC area. Her interests include volunteer travel, urban entrepreneurship, social media, and healthy and sustainable living. In her spare time, she enjoys running and is sometimes crazy enough to compete in half marathons. She hopes to run in the NYC Marathon one day.
Karen Gould has travelled the world as an editor, journalist and web producer and is now happily settled in Sydney. She works on our web copy, newsletters and public relations campaigns. When not spreading the word about StartSomeGood, you may find her producing the front page of a certain internet portal, wrangling two kids, feeding six chickens or on the couch watching Parks and Rec.
Natasha Akib is passionate about empowering people and communities to tell their stories and instigate social change through media. She's worked with socially conscious media organisations across the world including in Bhutan at one of the country's first independent newspapers, in New Orleans at the Social Change Film Festival and also in Australia as Editor of www.vibewire.org. She enjoys dancing, travelling, writing and occasionally dabbles in filmmaking!
Bryan Parker is a software engineer currently residing in Los Angeles. He received a B.S. in Computer Science/Engineering from UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. He hopes to one day have read every Star Wars book in the Expanded Universe.
Emerson Taymor is a managing partner at philosophie, an interactive agency in Los Angeles. Before co-founding philosophie, Emerson graduated from UCLA with a BA in Design | Media Arts and worked as a freelance web designer. When he isn't working, he can usually be found watching sports.
Want to get in touch? Say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org