Of the wide variety of DIY websites we feature here on SWB, we’re particularly proud to be able to showcase non-profit organizations and charities. Today, we bring you an interview with Samir Goel, who co-founded Transfernation, a non-profit organization which aims to create a technology-driven infrastructure to redistribute extra food from events to homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
SWB: Hello Samir. Please tell us a bit about your background and what prompted the creation of Transfernation.
Samir: Hi SWB – Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me, I really appreciate your support of Transfernation and interest in my personal website.
My background really stems from a passion around creating social impact and finding ways to bring together different sectors of society around global challenges. An issue that always stuck with me was food: as a lifelong foodie and someone exposed to the sharp contrast between those who had plenty and those who did not it was only a matter of time before I began to delve further into the world of food issues.
I was fortunate to meet Hannah Dehradunwala, my co-founder during our freshmen year of college as she was similarly passionate about food issues. During our sophomore years we decided to act towards solving the challenges of food waste and hunger when presented with the opportunity to compete in the NYU Stern Social Impact Business Challenge (SIBC). While we did not win SIBC we were both so passionate on the cause and had come so far there we knew there was no way we were stopping. We kept working on Transfernation and a few months later we received our first set of funding by winning the Resolution Challenge at the Clinton Global Initiative along with mentorship, legal support, and other pro-bono resources.
That moment was a turning point for us and we have not looked back since. Currently we operate on a daily basis, rescuing between 300 and 500 pounds of food each week which roughly translates to 180 to 300 lives impacted. Aside from co-founding Transfernation, I used to work at the United Nations and currently work at LinkedIn.
SWB: When you decided to create a personal website, what made you choose Strikingly? Did you try any other site builders?
Samir: Absolutely, web-site development, blogging, and personal sites are topics I’ve been interested in for a long time. A few years ago I used a WordPress blog to create my first website: a blog on current events in politics and international relations.
However in the past year I thought about building a personal website multiple times and dabbled with Wix.com and Squarespace. I found that neither of those sites had the appropriate feel or aesthetic for the type of personal website I wanted to build. I was looking for something sleek and professional yet creative.
Most of the other sites I found lacked the sleek clean look or were better suited to professionals with artistic or creative portfolios (e.g. graphic designers). I chose Strikingly in the end because it allowed me to leverage a platform I already dedicated significant time on (LinkedIn) yet provided me with significant customization ability and had an extremely sleek template.
SWB: How long did it take you to publish your site?
Samir: Although I dabbled with different templates and website builders sporadically for a couple months, once I came across Strikingly it only took me a day to publish the first iteration of my website. I decided to dedicate my Sunday to building a strong personal website and upon completion sent it out to friends and professionals in the design space to gather feedback for a second version. After making some changes I posted it out on social media and other mediums.
SWB: Is one page enough? Have you ever regretted choosing Strikingly?
Samir: Absolutely, Strikingly’s formatting and aesthetic allow a long single page website to feel entirely appropriate. I’ve always been a fan of the site and plan to continue using Strikingly for my personal website. The only reason I’d consider switching is if I spent significant time honing my web development skills and wanted to build an extremely customized website as that is not feasible with most site builders.
SWB: What do you love most about Strikingly?
Samir: The Strikingly’s teams commitment to supporting their users and constant innovation. Since publishing my site I’ve been featured multiple times on the Strikingly blog, received free months of a pro account (by inviting others), and received new and exciting features. The Strikingly team is determined to provide high quality support and go above and beyond, a component of using Strikingly I really value.
SWB: Thank you for your time today, Samir. Do you have any closing remarks?
Samir: Just a sincere thank you for taking the time to talk with me and feature my personal site and work with Transfernation on SWB.