Young Innovators Struggle To Get Idea Funded, Then ‘Start Some Good’ Instead

Photo: Alex Budak and co-founder Tom Dawkins. (Start Some Good)

Have you ever had a fantastic idea that would make the world a better place, but were never really sure how to get it off the ground? That’s what happened to Alex Budak, one of the co-founders of StartSomeGood (SSG).

After a trip to India, where he volunteered for an organization focused on empowering young girls, he knew he could make some improvements back in the states. There was one big roadblock: He lacked funding and didn’t know how to go about getting it. “The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there must be countless wonderful ideas out there for improving the world that never come into being,” he said.

Alex met the SSG engineering team, Bryan Parker and Emerson Taymor, while camping out for UCLA basketball games, and then met his co-founder Tom Dawkins while working at Ashoka.  Determined to make it happen, the guys planted a seed, and their idea grew into what is now StartSomeGood.

Similar to platforms like Crowdrise and Kickstarter, StartSomeGood (SSG) provides an online platform for projects that need to be funded. The difference: SSG is solely for social change projects and open to all types of organizations, not just registered nonprofits. The site also works with a Groupon-like tipping function. There is a minimum amount needed to make the project work; if that tipping point never gets met, well, the funding doesn’t go through and no money changes hands. If it tips…the ball keeps rolling!

Alex and the SSG team are proof that making a difference is always within reach. Sometimes you just have to pave the way! The power of people is so easy to take advantage of, too–especially in this day in age. Getting people to rally behind a cause is simply the easiest, and sometimes the only, way to get an initiative off the ground.

“My experience in India taught me that for large-scale social change to occur, it wouldn’t be one or two huge organizations making a difference. It would be lots and lots and lots of people doing whatever it is they are most passionate about to improve the world around them,” Alex added.

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