Cor Hoekstra, co-founder & CEO of Amicus chats remotely with Bank On It Podcast host John Siracusa. Throughout the episode, Cor shares the founding story of Amicus, his career path that led him to venture out, and the people who guided him along the way. Listen to the entire episode here.
On the early days
Nearly three decades ago, Amicus.io co-founders Cor Hoekstra and Walt Ruloff worked together at Intertrans Logistics Solutions. After a successful exit, the pair had a representative from World Vision plead with them to introduce technology into the nonprofit space. They asked themselves an ambitious question.
How can we introduce technology that would truly revolutionize and mobilize charitable capital, perhaps more importantly, bridge the gap between donors and charities? At the end of the day, everybody wants to give.
Cor and Walt began to imagine how to reinforce a culture of generosity by providing a technology solution to mobilize charitable capital that is more inclusive, more accessible, and more impactful.
Twenty years later, Amicus is an early stage fintech company seeking to make donor-advised funds more accessible to a broader audience by putting consumer banking at the heart of charitable giving.
Making the decision to change your entire career to venture out on your own is not simple. Sometimes we need the guidance of those we trust to take a leap. When Walt first presented the idea to start Amicus, Cor had to decide to join in building it from the ground up. It was the counsel of a friend that sold him: "This is right in your wheelhouse and if you don't pursue this path, you will wonder for the rest of your days if you could have made this work."
Struck by the inspirational element of how this idea could fundamentally shift the philanthropic sector and individuals' connection to generosity, Cor got to work.
In reflecting on the motivation to create Amicus, he comes back to those that have shaped him along the way. Those who have demonstrated kindness, resilience, and generosity.
By small or large acts of generosity, we can make this world a better place. Perhaps that sounds grandiose, but the smallest acts of kindness often have a profound impact in ways that we don't realize. Maybe that's a good thing because it keeps us humble.
Amicus is a mission-driven company which has implications on its capital and governance. When it comes to raising funds, Amicus targeted more patient capital and capital that was aligned with the mission and vision of the company.
Integrity of the vision and the values is as important to us as change and control. We are very mindful of the type of investors that we are targeting and the funding strategy. We are looking to build a company with lasting impact.
When asked for the best piece of advice he received, Cor reflects on an interaction with a friend and former colleague who told him, "Allow yourself to be seen in the true sense of the word, really allow yourself to be vulnerable." Those that are authentic and committed to becoming the best versions of themselves are able to do great things in whatever it is they choose to pursue, and lead others in the process.