Funding our business wasn’t too difficult because we did it “the hard way”. The four co-founders invested our own money and built and launched a revenue generating Minimum Viable Product. So when we went out to raise funding our product was already active in stores with paying customers. The big vision, strong founding team and revenue generating product allowed us to fund the business relatively quickly. I guess hard work created opportunity 🙂
Ornit is a FinTech software development executive with over 13 years of experience including close to a decade of R&D management. Prior to co-founding Sunbit, Ornit worked as a VP R&D at whipclip and as R&D manager at SuperDerivatives, managing teams of 30, including full end-to-end responsibility for product development, from business requirements through development to deployment, managing teams of web, mobile and Backend developers, QA engineers, architects, DBAs and data scientists, product and tech-operations. Ornit was also a software developer at Intel on a team responsible for all manufacturing information systems. Ornit holds a BSc in Information Systems Engineering from Ben-Gurion University. She was ranked 1st in her class and graduated summa Com Laude. Ornit holds an MBA majoring in Finance from Tel Aviv University.
What did you eat for breakfast?
In the morning I usually drink coffee, my appetite doesn’t wake up as early as I do 🙂
What’s your workout?
I love jogging especially in the early mornings, it keeps me sharp throughout the day.
Tell us about your work. What inspired you to start your business? Where did you start and where are you now?
After close to a decade of managing and leading Fintech software development, I knew my next step would be starting a company, and I was looking for the right opportunity. I worked with Arad (Co-founder and CEO of Sunbit) many years ago and when he told me about his idea of creating a new payment category that would help people get more out of their hard earned money, he immediately got my attention. Ultimately, the size of the opportunity, the caliber of the founding team and the potential to “make the world a better place” made Sunbit the ideal opportunity for me.
I am the co-founder and VP R&D for Sunbit which developed a product that allows brick and mortar retailers to create personalized payment plans for their customers in real time. We bring data and decisional technology to the Point of Sale through an easy-to-use payment method that assesses the client’s financial ability and provides him or her with tailored installment plans in split seconds. The retailer sells more while the client splits his purchase into affordable payments.
We founded the company out of LA and Israel and launched a revenue generating product that is used by thousands of customers.
What do you see for your future?
It’s hard to look more than 1-2 years ahead… I’m very happy with my personal life and my career choices. The next few years are definitely going to be intense, in a good way but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Tell us a story about a success in your business or a mistake you overcame?
You are so busy in the daily grind that at times it is hard to see from the inside just how much progress we have made…
Half a year ago as the sales team was visiting prospects and talking about the technology a customer in the store turned around and said “Do you guys work for Sunbit? I love your product, I use it all the time!” – As someone who leads the R&D out of Israel, it’s those moments when you realize that we are already impacting customers in a positive way on a daily basis that makes it worth it all.
What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
I’ve always worked very hard with the goal of succeeding but there is a different kind of motivation that comes when you know your company can make a big impact on people’s lives. It is kind of magical to see a business develop from an idea to a real operating company with employees and customers.
What about your business matters most deeply to you? How does it engage your values?
What matters most is the team. It is as simple as that. The people are the beating heart of the company and who they are and what they do impacts everything from product to customer support to the brand you build.
What’s the best and the worst thing about being an entrepreneur, as a woman?
Being a woman entrepreneur was never an issue for me. Unfortunately, the numbers talk and I am aware of the fact there is a very low percentage of woman entrepreneurs, however, all along my career, I believed in working hard and developing my skills in order to promote my career, unrelated to my gender.
What would you say is your “entrepreneurial superpower?”
Looking at the big picture, while having the ability to drill down to details. Leading the technology while looking at the business needs at the same time and combining the two into a technological innovative product that creates real value to customers.
Connect with Ornit Maizel
LinkedIN: Orni Maizel
WEACT is dedicated to supporting Female Entrepreneurs and building an equal opportunity ecosystem.
This content was curated through WEACT and the first annual Israeli Women Entrepreneurs Delegation to The Silicon Valley.