The Endeavor Miami team spoke with Hanoi Morillo, Co-Founder & CEO of Fivvy and EndeavorLAB Alumni, to get her perspective as a founder in the middle of her entrepreneurial journey. Below are her transcribed responses:
Please introduce yourself.
Hello, everyone. My name is Hanoi Morillo. I’m the Founder of Fivvy and EndeavorLAB participant. We turn customers’ data into customer delights and revenue opportunities.
Why did you start Fivvy?
I started Fivvy because I’ve worked in tech and tech for banks and in banking. But, I’ve been in tech for the past 20 years. When you work in tech and banking at the same time, you realize that there is a huge gap between the relationship that the bank has with their customers. What I try to do is say, “Okay, how can I actually build something that will bridge the gap in that relationship?”. That’s how I created Fivvy: as a way to bring something into the market that will make banks better for you as a customer, but will also help banks to continue to make more money and be profitable.
Why did you become an entrepreneur?
I became an entrepreneur because I was drawn to it. I’ve been in the corporate world for most of my life. I was at Google, I was at IBM, I was at Scotiabank, KPMG. Big corporations, big international companies. But, I always had the urge to create or build something. I started a lot of different things. Obviously, none of them worked because I was not dedicating my full attention to them.
Then, I started getting involved in the startup ecosystem. I started mentoring startups, investing in startups, and it got to a point where I realized that I had a very interesting project in my hands. That would become Fivvy. It just so happened it was the right time for me to leave the corporate world. I felt that I was just ready and I could take the risk because building a company is a huge bet. And I was ready to make that bet.
What is your biggest fear as a founder?
I’m definitely afraid to fail. I think that’s where you build something. You build your dream company. You have a team that is behind you and that is following you right in this dream. We are all trying to build something that is amazing. What really keeps me awake at night is the thought, “what if we don’t make it”. Let’s not forget that less than 10% of startups are successful. I want to be part of that 10% for sure. But you never know. The statistics are not in our favor.
How do you face your fear?
The number one thing that I’ve realized is that failure is part of life. We should be talking about failure more because failure is only failure if you don’t learn from it. I’ve accepted that we might fail, but at least we’re learning throughout that process. And we take all those lessons to build something better, to better our teamwork or whatever needs improvement. I’ve accepted that, and I try to make sure that I enjoy the process. Every time I look back, I think, “I should have done this differently,” or, “If we did this in a different way. If we would have. If we had. We could have.” There are so many learnings right in the way. And that’s how I approach failure. It’s not failure, it’s learning. I just need to make sure that I’m capable of learning through that process. So I continue to evolve and use that to build something better and better.
Any words of encouragement for other entrepreneurs?
I would say being an entrepreneur is amazing. It’s exciting, but it’s super complicated as well. I think that we need to understand that. We sometimes think of being an entrepreneur as a romantic movie with a happy ending. I see it more as an action movie with some horror episodes in between. By the end of the action movie, you might win the battle and you might beat the villain, right? Or you might not, but you’ve had a ton of action in between and that’s freaking amazing.
Try to focus on your strengths. Make sure that you compliment where you’re lacking with someone else who is great at it. Make sure as well, that you’re doing something you’re passionate about and you truly believe in. Try to learn as much as you can. Don’t stress too much. Prioritize. And again, have fun. Because if we’re not having fun during this process, then why are we doing it?