Interview: StartSomeGood (2012)

Interview with Co-Founder Alex Budak in 2012.

StartSomeGood is a platform helping changemakers raise funds and grow a community of supporters to transform their ideas for good into action and impact.

StartSomeGood won first place in the 2012 WJF DC Prize. Their prize included a 1 year membership at the Affinity Lab, a co-working space in Washington, DC (also home to the William James Foundation).

We sat down recently with Alex Budak, co-founder of StartSomeGood, to ask him about his business.

Are you in business, or still planning?
In business!

How many people do you employ?
We have 2 full time employees, and a total team of 10 people.

Where are you located?
I’m located right here in the Affinity Lab. My co-founder Tom Dawkins is located in Australia. The rest of the team is spread out across the US and Canada.

What problem is StartSomeGood trying to solve?
The problem we’re trying to solve is that there are too many barriers between the idea stage and taking action with a social venture. There are plenty of people out there with great ideas, and we want to help them create new futures for their communities.

How did you become interested in that problem?
I spent some time living in India, and while I was there I realized that substantive change won’t come from just 1 or 2 large organizations, but rather when a lot of people create social good through pursuing their own vision for their communities. I set out to think about how we can empower anyone, anywhere to become a changemaker.

What is your solution to that problem?
What we created is a crowdfunding platform for helping changemakers raise the funds and grow the community support they need to take action on their good idea.

Who are your customers?
Our customers are changemakers of all kinds — from those with an idea for a new social venture to an established non-profit. From 16 year olds with a plan for their community all the way to Ashoka Fellows. 

Has the William James Foundation competition and mentoring program helped you on your way?
Absolutely. The amount of feedback we got on our business plan was pretty incredible — nearly 75 pages all told from expert judges. And winning the prize of coworking space at the Affinity Lab has been so valuable. I’m now surrounded by a great community here. And not jumping from coffee shop to coffee shop like I was doing previously is nice too.

What other resources have you found that are particularly useful for social entrepreneurs?
I’d recommend that social entrepreneurs get involved in networks and communities of changemakers. The Sandbox Network has been especially valuable for me as a way to connect with other young people passionate about social innovation, and the connections and support have been invaluable.  Similarly we’re helping to put on monthly #SocEntDC Happy Hours uniting the DC social innovation community. 

For readers who want to know more about what you’re up to, where can we send them? is the best place to go to check out the numerous live campaigns on our site. From there, folks can launch a campaign or find one that they want to support!

Anything else you’d like the William James Foundation community to know?
Thank you! we’re honored to be following the footsteps of some past DC winners, WeBike and Compass Partners who are great entrepreneurs and good friends of mine.