Six years ago, Stephen Garten made the decision to pursue his career in Austin, Texas. What that career was he was not sure yet. The University of Texas quickly took him under its wing as he found a home at the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI). Fresh out of college, Stephen couldn’t believe places like ATI existed. It is a place that is constantly buzzing with budding entrepreneurs seeking to change the world through innovation. There, Stephen found inspiration and invaluable guidance because he too aspired to become an entrepreneur some day.

Dedicated mentors from ATI have stood by Stephen with advice and encouragement throughout the long journey that has been the making of Charity Charge. With a mission to encourage millions of casual philanthropists to become passionate, active ones, the Charity Charge credit card empowers our cardholders to earn and donate 1% of every purchase to the charities of their choice. Having settled the partnerships with Commerce Bank and MasterCard, Stephen finally had the first Charity Charge credit card in his hands.

“Where should the first purchase be transacted and what organization should it support?,” Stephen thought to himself. Coming full circle, Stephen found both answers in one place: The University of Texas. Not only has UT been instrumental in his entrepreneurial development through ATI, but also its motto of “What Starts Here, Changes The World” directly reflects Charity Charge’s vision. Stephen swiped the first ever Charity Charge credit card for the first time at the University Co-Op. Simultaneously, Stephen “charged it forward” to the institution that was such an influence to the creation of Charity Charge by donating the 1% cash back of the purchase to The University of Texas. This milestone truly brought to life our shared mission and represents many more to come.