Tell me about your vision when starting DoGoodBuyUs.
The idea for DoGoodBuyUs came about the same way every great story starts, at the supermarket. I picked up two boxes of cereal, one was a name brand and the other was a Paul Newman's Own. I looked at the ingredients in the name brand and saw there were over 90 but only heard of 4. Surely this wouldn't be good enough for my son to eat. Fake sugars, things I couldn't pronounce. I then looked at the Paul Newman's Own and found 4 ingredients, all of them I recognized. This was it! Finally I had found something that was GOOD for us AND did GOOD for others at the same time. How many more could I find?
I went home and did some research, and unfortunately I couldn't find much other than TOMS shoes. I was sure that I was not the only one who wanted these products. On August 1, 2011 I launched DoGoodBuyUs. We now feature over 750 products, and have just hired our fourth employee.
What is the biggest lesson you learned when starting DoGoodBuyUs that you can share with other aspiring social entrepreneurs?
I learned how you know you have the right idea- if you go to bed physically exhausted but your mind doesn't stop racing. You have the right idea if you want to tell everyone you meet about your project. Without that passion, you won't get far.
What I think everyone entrepreneur should be prepared for is that it makes every day, the best and worst day of your life.
What do you read to keep up with the social innovation scene?
Mashable social good section, GOOD magazine
What appealed to you about being a PresenTense coach?
Personally, I believe that educating others is the greatest thing that we can give back. The world needs more social entrepreneurs and I wanted to do all I could in helping them get to the next step.
Zack Rosenberg is the founder & CEO of DoGoodBuyUs and 2013 PresenTense NYC Coach. Zack is hosting an outstanding panel on the intersection of nonprofits and technology in NYC on February 5. More information here. You can reach Zack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Monique Smith, Impact Israel
So, I have an idea. I have lots of ideas actually. Most of them are silly, like opening a franchise of gyms in airports or developing an automated pooper-scooper (the DogPoomba) or a hand-written and delivered greeting card company. It’s usually out of some sort of laziness that I start thinking about these things—like not wanting to clean up the backyard. And I get really excited. For about 10 minutes. Then I go back to watching TBS reruns. But what makes an idea worth pursuing? What makes this time different?
Socially minded entrepreneurship, as far as I can tell, appears to be composed of equal parts vision and feasibility.
Last Night we hosted a fantastic panel of PresenTense Alumni. Here's what they had to say:
“The biggest thing I gained from PT, in addition to the connections and the credibility, was the confidence to take my idea to the next level.” – Amy Fechter, NYC 2012
“I met my fiscal sponsor at Launch Night.” – Jayson Littman, NYC 2012
“When I first heard about PresenTense from Facebook, I had no idea what social entreprenership was – I just knew I wanted to help develop Jewish community.” – Naomi Nalogina, Moscow 2012
“I started working in the nonprofit Jewish sector, which was facilitated in large part by meeting a good friend at PresenTense.” – Adam Soclof, Global 2007
“PresenTense was like a think tank once a week.” – Evan Kleinman, NYC 2011
Our panel included:
By Adena Blickstein, Jewish Women's Talent Agency
There is nothing more precious than the Jewish woman.
We have so much to say. We have so many faces, feel so many things, experience through our souls and see the world deeply. We are responsible for the values of our families and are the gatekeeper, the port of entry, to what can enter and to what is not allowed. We are the soft, protective, skin to our family’s bodies, bodies that grow minute by minute, day by day, and year by year. We build and maintain those bodies. They are the fruit of our labor. We are responsible for identifying illness and providing nutrition. We protect, nurture and guide. We are firm and strong willed. We are sensual. We are the core of existence. Life begins in us. We struggle, we cry, we give, we inspire, we hurt, we speak, we emanate peace.
I began Professional Women’s Theater in 2006 with this concept in mind although not fully articulated.
PresenTense NYC Fellowship
Igniting social change in the NYC Jewish community.