Few people in the world can say they’ve tackled Mount Kilimanjaro, led their first non-profit at the age of 26, completed an Iron Man competition, and left their stable enterprise software job at IBM.
Cornelius Hoekstra may just be the only man to do so, and if you ask him what he’s doing now?
“Enjoying the view.”
Cor, CEO of Amicus, left IBM to lead a venture that enables non-profits to deliver aid to those who need it, better. By traveling to Africa a number of times over the past five years, he’s seen the problem first-hand, “Over 3 billion people in the world are living on $2.50 or less per day. For most folks, that’s just a statistic, but when you experience that and walk around with those people, it changes your worldview.”
Cor and his team think they’ve found a solution in Amicus. “What we’ve seen in the non-profit space, and with my knowledge in the enterprise software space, is a chronic under investment in technology. At the same time, there’s unprecedented wealth that has been designated for philanthropic purposes that is sitting in giving accounts, or Donor Advised Fund accounts (DAFs). But, there is no connective tissue. Donors want these funds to go to work. They want their money to go the field, but financial institutions have not been proactive in guiding their demands.”
Amicus is a SaaS platform that solves these issues for all parties involved. “Amicus comes in and acts as the Kayak for giving purposes. If you’re an owner of a DAF account, you align your funds with the issues you’re most passionate about. The institutions carry out the gift, and Amicus provides the institutions a report back that provides more transparency to the donors.”
Amicus provides clear answers to the charitable giver’s questions: Where did my money go? What impact did my money have?
“We founded Amicus to connect donors to projects in the non-profit space and end stories of mismanagement and waste, to make them the most efficiently operated organizations in the world. As a function of the industry, they are currently being asked to do more with less. That must end.”
Cor and his team know what they’re up against. “We are looking to disrupt and redefine the global aid space because when you think about the impact associated with that, even if that means a single life, then it’ll be worth it.”
A friend of Cor’s met him a few months into the venture and asked, “how’s it going?” Cor shares the same feeling with most entrepreneurs and startup founders:
“I feel like I’m free falling from an airplane with no parachute.”
Cor attributes his daily mindset to his friend’s response ...
“You can’t go back to the airplane, so you might as well enjoy the view.”
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