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 began thinking about how to better support more grassroots innovation in the social sector.

The inability of the traditional social sector to support innovation – things not yet proven to work – is an acute problem in a world where the pace of change is constantly accelerating. Tom had experienced this challenge while founding three non-profits and one social enterprise prior to StartSomeGood.

We need new solutions to old problems, and new ideas to take advantage of new opportunities. Supporting these new ideas requires a new approach to investing in social good.

Inspired by the innovation ecosystem of the San Francisco Bay Area, where Alex is from and Tom moved after Ashoka, they set about imagining a social enterprise dedicated to supporting emerging changemakers anywhere on earth, helping them build the financial, intellectual and relational capital they need to succeed.

The first version of StartSomeGood launched on March 1, 2011, as a crowdfunding platform dedicated to supporting new ideas which make a difference.

Since we have worked with thousands of projects, and diversified our offerings from crowdfunding to coaching, capacity-building and accelerators.

Alex left StartSomeGood in 2012 to work on some exciting projects in Sweden, where he had moved, before moving back to San Francisco where he is now the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Haas Business School at the University of California, Berkeley. 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.

These days we’re a small but mighty team spread across four countries, delivering programs and managing platforms that support social entrepreneurs and social innovation.

We seek to Inspire Action through our content, community and event program.

We help Equip changemakers to make a difference through our Good Hustle course and other capacity-building programs.

We support the Launch and Testing of new ideas through the StartSomeGood Crowdfunding platform and Accelerator Programs.

We help enterprises Grow through our new LendForGood crowd-lending platform, and help founders Grow and Sustain through our StartSomeGood Network learning community.

Find out more about our programs here. Meet our team here.

If you’re ready to start good, or already doing so, we would love to help!


2011: StartSomeGood.com launches

2013: Dreamstarter collaboration with ING launched

2015: StartSomeGood Crowdfunding version 2 launched

2016: StartSomeGood Partner API launched

2017: The first #StartingGood Virtual Summit held

2019: Good Hustle social enterprise design program launched

2020: #StartingGood Virtual Summit attracts 6,000 registrations, Recurring Crowdfunding launched

2021: StartSomeGood Network community launched

2022: LendForGood crowd-lending platform launched

2023: StartSomeGood Crowdfunding version 3 launched in partnership with Fundrazr