On April 22nd, Charity Charge was invited on behalf of Team Austin to kick off their Summer Speaker Series at the Google Fiber Headquarters in Austin. Kolaches, cookies, and cocktails, sponsored by Café Crème, came and went as people poured in after work that Friday evening looking for great networking opportunities and a relaxing environment. Packed with a few surprises up his sleeve, Stephen Garten, Charity Charge CEO and founder, was excited to take the stage and talk about his journey as an entrepreneur.

Team Austin is a non-profit organization that hosts networking events throughout the year that connect professionals from all levels and industries in the Austin area. This event was particularly special for Charity Charge as one of the largest sponsors was Vela Wood represented by Rad Wood, a close friend to Charity Charge. After giving a sneak peek into his social entrepreneurial mind and revealing his iced tea obsession, Rad welcomed Stephen to the floor. Candid as always, Stephen shared with the audience personal recounts of his journey towards Charity Charge. Personal text messages, rejections, and milestones, Stephen bared all in efforts to inspire others to follow their passion. His palpable honesty and relentless drive resonated with the entire audience, as they nodded their heads effusively and clapped in agreement throughout his speech.

The talk took an unexpected turn as Stephen revealed the first ever Charity Charge credit card to the unsuspecting crowd towards the end of his talk, materializing the lessons he just shared into the tangible reward. He then announced that Charity Charge’s Thunderclap campaign had begun that very day, Earth Day, and asked those that felt identified with the company’s mission to pledge their support. The effort required is minimum: pledge your support and you will share one message on one specific date about the news that Charity Charge is live. The purpose is to amplify Charity Charge’s voice through a single message that will be mass-shared on a single day by people who are passionate about our cause.

Afterwards, a Q&A session followed where Stephen elaborated on certain points of his talk that people were intrigued by. Stephen also gave actionable advice to budding entrepreneurs in the audience who were facing roadblocks. The event overall was a success on both ends. The audience enjoyed listening to someone who has gone through similar struggles and succeeded at the end. Stephen also had a great time sharing his experience with the audience and inviting them to participate firsthand in Charity Charge’s journey through Thunderclap while also inspiring them in any way he could to take the leap of faith. If you have felt identified with Charity Charge’s mission to make giving back as easy as swiping your card any time, then we invite you to also pledge your support at Thunderclap and help us spread the word!

Stephen Garten
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