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Alumni Entrepreneurs

Gavin Thomas

Gavin Thomas, 2006 Business Administration (Economics/Marketing Concentrations)

Current Title and Company:

Co-Founder, This Good World

Background:

Since graduating from Naz in ’06, I spent a few years working in the advertising and digital media space. My focus started with digital media, then morphed into work in the social media and digital strategy space. I then went on to work freelance with various clients and agencies in Rochester, NY and beyond within the same discipline before starting This Good World with my co-founder, Lisa Kribs-LaPierre.

Provide a description of your business?

This Good World is a digital platform that connects and supports socially conscious businesses so individuals can more easily discover and support them, too. We provide individuals with an interactive map and detailed business profiles so they can more easily find and support these values-driven businesses and organizations. We also provide collaboration tools and resources to our business members so they can connect andcommunicate with one another to do more good.

Why did you start your business?

We started This Good World initially to “scratch an itch” my co-founder and I both had. There was no easy-to-use resource to be able to find and support businesses that shared the same values as we do. We also wished more businesses and organizations would collaborate and pool their resources or specialties together to bring more good to this world, so we built a site that makes that process easier and more streamlined for them

What made you believe that you could be an entrepreneur?

I truly believe anyone can become an entrepreneur, especially with today’s readily available tools, technologies and resources. There’s a little bit of “crazy” or “weird” in every entrepreneur (and that’s a good thing). Whether or not we all know it, there’s a little bit of that in all of us.

What was the biggest challenge(s) starting the business?

Making the initial leap. It’s one thing to know you can start a business or have the ability to solve a problem. It’s another thing entirely to wake up one day and say “OK, it’s time to do something about this.”

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting a business?

Go for it. Most entrepreneurial ventures starting today fit into categories with extremely low costs of entry. Even if things don’t pan out the first time around, you’re going to learn so much about the business landscape and, more importantly, about yourself that it’s next to impossible to consider starting a business a bad use of your time, energy or money.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

While there are many lessons that probably would have made some struggles easier if I knew them before getting started, I’d have to say “nothing.” The learning process has been the most exciting, challenging and stimulating part of this venture and that wouldn’t be there if we knew everything at the start. Our business is still very young, so there’s still a ton to learn—and I’m pretty excited about that.

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