Brian McClennon, President & CEO of Link Investment Management

The Link Investment Management team.

The Link Investment Management team.

1. What does Link Investment Management do?

Link provides businesses with a better way to offer their team employer-sponsored compensation: savings programs, equity plans and health benefits.

2. What inspired you to start? What problem are you solving?

There isn’t a company out there that consolidates all three typical employer compensation programs (savings programs, equity plans and health benefits) into a single platform – except for Link. We also saw that there was room for improvement for those that offer the platforms independently. We saw how technology could be leveraged in a way to make these programs better and easier for both employees and their employers – all at a lower cost. 

3. How long did it take you to go from prototype to launch?

The software development for our amazing front-end experience and complicated back-end recordkeeping was very challenging. It’s really an ongoing process as we continue to develop new products and features. Because a lot of what we do is new in an industry that has been around for decades, blazing a new trail is challenging when dealing with regulators and service providers. Our dev. team does amazing work!

4.  How did you determine who your audience might be for this product?

We try to do as much customer discovery as possible and engage users in the continuous development of our product. Our products are for employers that want to give their employees the best group retirement savings programs, stock options and share purchase plans, and health and wellness spending accounts.

5. What's one thing you wish you'd known about the startup community?

How easy and helpful it is to engage. I wish I got hooked into the Calgary startup community earlier!


6. What are your greatest achievements so far?

Being part of a movement that allows employers to provide their employees better retirement outcomes. This could be a transformational event and we’re excited to be part of it!

Link has also launched Alberta’s first and only multi-employer pension plan. The goal is to bring the benefits of a true defined contribution (DC) pension plan down to small and medium-sized businesses. It really lowers the barrier of entry to DC plans.

Advice Corner

7. How can companies make the most of their experience with Startup Calgary?

Go to the events, open up, be social and talk to people. Be honest about where your business is at so you can get the most out of what Startup Calgary offers.

8. If you could have done one thing differently while building your startup, what would it be?

Getting our product into the hands of users from the get-go. We initially made too many assumptions of what we thought were important features in the app; customer feedback told us otherwise.

9. What was the biggest surprise you encountered building your startup? What did you learn from it?

It really never slows down, only the priorities change. Startups are hard and you have to be fully committed. 

10. What event, program or resource in Calgary's startup community made the biggest impact on your company?

Being part of the Startupfest Calgary cohort has been exceptionally valuable to Link. It was a great time to connect with like minded entrepreneurs, startups and investors. I would recommend any entrepreneur attend the event, as well as getting involved with Startup Calgary. 

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Published on July 24, 2018