Why I Started a Fintech Company Focused on Generosity
Read our Founder & CEO's origin story of why he started a Fintech company focused on generosity.
Last summer I was sitting in our living room in San Jose with a couple of friends sharing with them a vision to build the future of generosity.
We started mind mapping, specifically meditating on an ancient Proverb: The world of the generous gets larger and larger (Proverbs 11:24 MSG). This verse has been a foundation, first principle in my marriage, and one my wife and I have experienced the power of within our church community. A revelation that has revolutionized our life, and one that has gripped many of our closest friends.
As we unpacked this verse further in our brainstorming session, we created bubbles around words like fragrance, extravagant, and over the top. For Kim and I, we have been on both the receiving and the giving side of generosity. We grew up as first generation Asian American in a low-to-middle class suburb of Seattle called Kent. A city full of immigrants, we were immersed in the hustle with incredible parents who did everything they could to provide us an opportunity to ‘make it’. I remember many days my dad coming home late after a double shift in the grueling aerospace industry and smelling the sweat and fumes from the factory on his clothes. That’s when I experienced that generosity had a fragrance and it smelled like sacrifice.
With that same energy, I followed in my parents footsteps to work all throughout high school and college. I was determined to be able to pay tuition and board at the University of Washington without incurring any debt. Dozens of jobs and scholarship applications later, I finally received my first scholarship at the end of Sophomore year, with many that followed, which would end up paying for the rest of my college tuition, rent, books & more! Even though the scholarships were considered ‘merit-based,’ I definitely didn’t feel like I deserved it. This ‘free money’ felt extravagant and in reflection, was transformative in unlocking opportunities, like studying abroad, because I was no longer tied down with 3 jobs.
Post graduation, Kim and I (newlyweds at the time), moved to Silicon Valley to start our careers in tech (Google) and education (Teach for America). As a ‘Noogler’ in 2011, I definitely went in expectant, due to all the articles I read about Google’s perks, but as I toured the campus on orientation day I was still completely taken aback by the abundance of food and generosity with services such as massages, dry cleaning and G-Buses that picked you up anywhere in the Bay Area. All I could think was that this was over the top.
I know some have a similar journey to me but many more don’t. I also know that each life changing opportunity I have been blessed with, was ultimately a result of generosity. Everyone won’t have the chance to attend a 4 year university, to study abroad or to work at a top tech company, but everyone should have the chance to experience generosity. The FRAGRANT, EXTRAVAGANT, and OVER THE TOP kind.
We believe we have been given so much, and can’t help but grow in the conviction and responsibility to give back, unlocking opportunities and access for others. Giving rooted in gratitude is what we call giving out of the Overflow. It has nothing to do with what’s in your bank balance and what you don’t have, but everything to do with recognizing what you’ve been given and what you do have. From that place, our mission is to inspire the world to give.
We’re starting with stock-based giving, but not stopping there. We will unlock every major asset class until anyone, anywhere can give anything to the people & causes they care about so that every human being will experience the enlarged life of the generous. The Proverbs 11:24 life.
Vance, Founder & CEO of Overflow