Owners of Jackrabbit Technologies and Little Otter Swim School Discuss Inc. 5000 Recognition.

Two Entrepreneurs Have Distinction in Common

Owners of Jackrabbit Technologies and Little Otter Swim School Discuss Inc. 5000 Recognition

Jackrabbit Technologies ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of high growth companies for the 7th consecutive year at #4023 while Little Otter Swim School made its first appearance at #3626.

The two companies are more than honorees – they’ve had a client-service provider relationship for 7 years.

In a recent conversation with Mark Mahoney, co-owner of Jackrabbit Technologies, and John Kirk, co-owner of Little Otter Swim School, we learned about what earning a place on the Inc. 5000 means to their two companies.

Q1 | What does it mean to you for your company to make the Inc. 5000 list?

Mark: It legitimizes us as a high growth company and it’s a great recruiting tool.

John: It is a culmination of efforts since we came from mom & pop to multi-location school. Opening the second Little Otter location put us over the top.

Q2 | Does it have a particular meaning to you personally?

Mark: It takes us from local success to national success and gives employees a sense of pride.

Over the 7 years we’ve made the list, we’ve been able to put systems in place to fuel growth.

John: Life isn’t easy as an entrepreneur so it’s nice to be recognized. It validates our success with kids. The growth allows me to work on the business instead of in the business.

Q3 | What is the relationship between your two companies?

Mark: It’s symbiotic. Our clients become more efficient and they grow. That, in turn, fuels our growth.  Their success truly fuels our success.

John: We went from paper to technology. We did research and tried a couple of other softwares but Jackrabbit was the better way. We’ve invested in marrying our business processes up with the best practices Jackrabbit provides so it’s very important to us that Jackrabbit continues to earn success and grow.


Q4 |Does making the list have any impact on prospects’ decision making process?

John: The Inc. 5000 listing doesn’t really have an impact on parents’ decision to choose Little Otter, but they may hear about it and it becomes a part of our loyalty building efforts. Parents make decisions based more on what their friends say and about the feeling they get when they visit.

Mark: It helps to drive home the fact that we reinvest in our software, that innovating is critical to our goal of being the top software provider for years to come.

Q5 | What do you think about the fact that Jackrabbit has been a 7-year Inc. 5000 list member?

John: I like the fact that Jackrabbit is a consistent member of the Inc. 5000 list. If vendors are successful, they will provide excellence at a fair price. They will keep developing and innovating. I wouldn’t do business with a company just getting by. I want a vendor who can look at your pain points and address them – a growing company can do that now and will in the future.

Q6 | Your companies have been client and service provider for several years. What do you think about this?

Both John and Mark note: We’re more like partners than simply client and service provider.

Mark: Our companies are intertwined. Today’s Jackrabbit customer is more embracing of technology than in the company’s beginnings. Parents demand technology and the market drives companies to adopt it. Little Otter understood the value of technology early on and also understood the value that Jackrabbit could add through not only it’s technology but through the culture of partnership Jackrabbit employs.

John: The way we are intertwined in beneficial to both companies. Jackrabbit sends dev staff, engineers, and support staff to observe the way Little Otter works, they have lunch and learns to capture information about how Little Otter uses the product and how they need to use the product. Jackrabbit is always honest about what they can do and when they can do it and I respect that.

Read about their synergistic relationship here.

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