Many businesses are founded by the head: business plan, spread sheets and numbers. This must be done, but like a human being, it needs a strong core to prosper and grow: heart, lungs and stomach.
The heart: A passionate focus – love what you do!
Our latest venture, BankiFi, was born from interest in what – after 20 years of internet banking – was still lacking. Data and insights were still seen as dumb input for processes and services of a bygone era. Transformation was mere optimisation.
There was an amazing world out there if you combined new thinking with new technology. At the same time, you could almost smell that people would wake up to data ‘grabbing’ and demand real value in turn. This bow of tension between a fair and open world and the fear of ‘1984’ sat at the heart of every business discussion. We wanted to catch the momentum created by society and technology innovation, and spurred on by the regulators.
This allows us to do what we love most: work with young talent (YouthShoring as we call it), create a fair and relevant playing field in financial services (in particular for long-suffering business clients), embrace the latest technology and bond our experience with curiosity to make it happen. This same heart will convince the head to keep going when things get rough.
The lungs: A connected life – breathe in, breathe out.
Your environment is your oxygen: family, friends, the financial services ecosystem and more. The lungs of your business give you energy and force you to give back. Take in inspiration from a wide range, don’t restrain yourself to your ‘industry’ but look at similar things going on in different business segments. Equally, no matter how focussed (time- constrained) you are, you must mentor young talent and speak at events.
The stomach: Built for endurance - feed that body.
In addition to inspiration and guidance, you need to feed the body: fill your stomach with good stuff that makes it endure and grow: good talent, a good infrastructure, and yes, money. Investment or income – and preferably a combination of the two to keep your feet on the ground and your minds focussed. The intake and digestion is directly linked to how much and how fast you grow. Growing too fast can be a danger to the health of your company. Starvation leads to death. But if fed with varied and healthy ingredients (a diverse workforce, an infrastructure that is flexible) you will build a healthy company with robust DNA.
BankiFi’s Founding partner Conny Dorrestijn has worked in the international financial technology industry in a wide range of marketing and business development roles, most recently at Clear2Pay / FIS. She is an Advisory Board Member to Holland FinTech and AdviceRobo, Non-Executive Board Member at Arches Capital and Blanco Services and an Associate of the Digital Insurance Agenda (DIA) and the Blockchain Innovation Conference (BIC2019) and a Global Innovation Awards Judge at BAI (US) and Jury Chair of the Dutch NRC FinTech Live Awards. She is a co-host of the regular Fintech Cappuccino podcast.
With inclusion across gender, age and culture high on her agenda, she is a Global Ambassador of the EWPN – European Women in Payments Network. She is an Advisory Board Member and mentor for the Money2020 Europe Rise Up programme. Her passion for generation Y and Z is translated in active student mentoring and her voluntary work for the Global Give Back Circle: www.globalgivebackcircle.org, where she is also active as a mentor for Kenyan students.