Ryan Charnov – Founder of Giftfluence

“Don’t expect success to happen to you – make success happen for you.”

Meet Ryan Charnov

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Ryan is the Co-Founder of Giftluence, a technology startup that stimulates charitable giving through online activity such as shopping and searching the internet. In this role, Ryan is responsible for developing cause marketing opportunities between major brands and over 800,000 nonprofits. As a social entrepreneur, Ryan is passionate about leveraging technology to make it easier to support charity

How long have you been an Entrepreneur?

2 Years

Did you leave a job to become an Entrepreneur?


What is the name of your current project / company?


Please describe for us in 1 sentence your current project.

Turning online activity into meaningful charitable donations – for free!

Where did the idea of your current project come from?

I was running a half marathon in support of a local charity and when asking for support from my friends and colleagues realized that a lot of people like myself did not have the resources to give. With student loans, debt, and other factors it is really hard for young people to make an impact on their community. I started Giftfluence so that others like myself could make an impact on causes they care about without breaking the bank

Why do you do what you do?

I am passionate about philanthropy and GIftfluence allows me to use my technology skills to empower others to give back as well

What’s the one thing you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?

Don’t expect success to happen to you – make success happen for you. Everyone wants to land their dream job or start their own company, but unless you actively work towards that goal it is unlikely to happen organically

What’s the most important piece of advice would you give to someone just starting?

Stay focused on one task at a time. There are a million things that you need to do when starting a business and its easy to get overwhelmed and overextended. If you try to solve everything at once you will end up getting nothing done. Instead focus on one thing at a time and your productivity will skyrocket

What is the hardest thing you have had to do regarding your business?

Hiring the right people. Its a long process to identify, recruit and hire the right people, and even harder to train and manage them.

What does your typical day look like?

I don’t have a typical day, every day is a new adventure which I love!

If you were to start again, and could change one thing, what would it be?

I would have started earlier. Its incredibly easy to put things off until another day and oftentimes perfect is the enemy of progress. There is a natural tendency to wait to launch a product or get feedback until you think everything is perfect but in reality the sooner you get feedback the quicker you can adapt and grow your product.wn.

What is the most important thing in life?

Doing something every day that makes you happy and surrounding yourself with people that fulfill you and push you.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Our product relies on relationships we have with retailers, but its really difficult to establish relationships without having a large customer base. Unfortunately its hard to grow a large customer base without having a critical mass of retailers so we faced a bit of a chicken and the egg problem with regards to growth. We spent a few months focusing on one side of the equation (retailers) and keyed in on getting them to buy in on our vision.

Tell us something unique about yourself.

I have seen every single Houston Texans football game…