Mark Morissette created Foxquilt to empower small business owners with greater purchasing power when acquiring and managing their insurance. Foxquilt is an Insurance technology company focused on empowering small businesses and B2B networks to save on Small Business insurance. Our Insurance-as-a-Service platform is complemented by a unique data and machine learning underwriting infrastructure. Leveraging innovative technology and creating unique products, Foxquilt makes life easier for business owners. Mark’s career includes more than 15 years in various leadership roles spanning Operations, Sales & Distribution for some of Canada’s premier Carriers and fintech organizations including, Aviva and Real Matters. When he’s not creating with his team, Mark is at a sports arena or the cottage with his wife and four kids.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I was born and raised in cottage country about three hours north of Toronto. My family home was surrounded by water; we had a river in our back yard and a lake across the street. I grew up with three brothers (including a twin) in a very competitive sports household. Whether it be academics or athletics, we loved to compete and win at a young age. My brothers and I spent countless hours playing pond hockey, and like so many other Canadian boys, we had unrealized dreams of making it to the NHL. We learned to dream big and put in the hours of work. My grandfather grew our family business, Morissette Diamond Drilling Inc., to become Canada’s largest subterranean diamond drilling contracting firm. Entrepreneurship is in our DNA and we learned the values required to lead at the dinner table.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I wanted to be an entrepreneur from a very young age. I started my first business, shipping vehicles by railcar when I was still in business school. But after building products and distribution for a couple of prolific Canadian fintech companies, it took two decades to return to my dream of building a vision from scratch. While scaling our last company, we recognized a problem within our network of ~300K small business providers; none of them could access customized insurance solutions at a fair value. So we set out to build technology and products that would empower every different kind of business the ability to build their own a la carte product at a fair value and price in minutes.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
How about two:
1. Surround yourself with curious, diverse people. People & talent are the essential ingredients in making the magic come to life.
2. Trust your instincts, expertise, and intuition and drive forward. Do not wait for somebody to do it or something to happen. Don’t be distracted by a million different opinions; it’s your vision … you see it before they do.