When many Canadians were forced to move their work online suddenly with the onset of the pandemic, second-year business student Maddy Hearne saw an opportunity. But she couldn’t have foreseen what was to come.
Hearne partnered with third-year computer science student McKenzie Day to offer online conferencing expertise to professionals who were facing a rapid pivot from in-person meetings. By the summer, Hearne and Day had a full-time business, and by last fall they had more than 100 clients. First Class Conferencing Facilitation Inc. (FCCF) was born.
“We’re looking to hire 35 to 40 more people in the next month just to satisfy demand,” Day said in an interview in February. He doesn’t see their business being impacted by a return to in-person work. “Even after things open up, people are so used to going online that they may not feel inclined to go back to their original way of working.”
Looking back over the past year, both Hearne and Day are in awe. “We never had the intention of starting a [company] while in school,” Hearne says. Until they can relax a bit, they will continue to do what they enjoy – making connections and building a business that will last.