Building a business is no small feat but building a business in a space that is new to you and constantly evolving is a major journey. It’s a journey that Lori Weir dove into headfirst with co-founder Kendell McManamon when creating Four Eyes Financial – a financial technology (FinTech) company with headquarters in the Saint John region.
“It took us two and a half years to build a minimal viable product, and to find somebody willing to actually test that product in the market,” Lori explained. “As they say, there’s no such thing as overnight success.”
Lori shares how one of the most required principals and characteristics of an entrepreneur is tenacity. And it’s tenacity that spurred the growth for their startup – going from one to three to nine, to today – having 40 employees.
As they worked to build their financial services technology company in the Saint John region, they knew starting out they would not have clients in Atlantic Canada. But for Lori and Kendell, it was important to create opportunity and new economic growth in their community.
“The bottom line is Kendall and I – we live here. We’ve built other businesses here. And we really wanted to be part of creating a new economy in the region,” she said. “Our business is based on something that can retain and attract high quality talent and provide jobs for people who want to stay in the region working on really cool stuff.”
As a FinTech company, Four Eyes Financial works with wealth firms and advisors to create better investor outcomes by connecting data and workflows. They help their clients scale their businesses and mitigate risk.
“Most of our hires are coming from the software engineering program at UNB and Information Technology programs at NBCC,” Lori said. “The majority of our employees are located here in New Brunswick.”
According to Lori, there is excellent young talent coming out of school, but finding senior talent with a depth of experience has been more challenging. She shares how programs and efforts that are in place today will help the talent pipeline in the future.
“There are no quick fixes in life, and no quick fixes around the talent pipeline either,” she said. “It’s helpful to look at things and discover where we need to fill gaps – thinking about the long game always.”
When looking back on her career, Lori credits much of her growth and success to the relationships and mentorships she has found along the way.
“If you want to learn about entrepreneurship, you should probably hang out with entrepreneurs, and what you find about most entrepreneurs is they’re very open to that idea,” she explained.
“Mentorship is really more about perspective than it is teaching. It’s taking an opportunity or a challenge and thinking about it from different points of view. And I think when you’re young, you seek out a mentor because you are interested in learning from what they learned over the years. My definition of a mentor is someone who has experience that they can lend to you. Growing a business is complex. And it’s not like about teaching something – it’s about helping guide decision making.”
In 2023, Four Eyes Financial is focused on growing their revenue engine, narrowing in on sales and getting scalable products out the door. The company has no plans on slowing down and is working to continue serving their clients, right here from the Saint John region.