Aseem Thakur

“Toothpaste is peddled with far more sophistication than the lifesaving work of aid groups,” declared one writer in the New York Times. Troubled by this statement, Aseem Kumar Thakur sought to create a platform that would make donating easier and more accessible for people: A simple idea but one that snowballed into a greater cause.

Together with a classmate from NUS, Thakur founded in 2009, an online platform that allowed people to set up their own charitable initiatives in a fun and hassle-free manner. Take, for example, the Run for Autism cause set up by brothers Daniel and Ethan Khor — through, it raised $7,500 last year in conjunction with the Standard Chartered Marathon.

In 2012, Thakur expanded the platform across Asia, resulting in GIVEasia, which received a special mention from the President’s Challenge that year. “It is amazing to see everyday people fundraise for causes they believe in,” says Thakur, who has raised over $5 million for various charities through GIVEasia so far.