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Continued: Schafer: Sometimes, a little anger can push a new business

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 4, 2014 - 2:00 PM

“This is awesome,” he remembers Reddig telling him that day. “You need to drop everything you are doing to get this out into the market.”

Otterology was formed in the summer of 2012 and has offices in Spring Lake Park. With the blistering pace of mobile payments growth, this time Lazarchic knew a new company of his could one day grow into a big one. He lined up a board of advisers and prepared to raise capital from investors, tasks he had never done before.

The company has raised about $425,000. Minneapolis investor Casey Allen, an early shareholder, said there’s a gold rush underway in mobile payments, as “every bank and credit card processor will soon be clawing each other’s eyeballs out to have solutions for mobile and tablet.”

But what most investors have so far missed, he said, is the niche being pursued by Otterology. “The coffee shop owner will still need the software that will keep track of what the store is low on, text the manager at the right time, and do it all automatically in the background,” he said.

Once a potential investor harmlessly asked if Otterology would one day make a version of its small-business product robust enough to serve companies like Target or Best Buy.

Lazarchic’s response was a bit too colorful to repeat here verbatim. He couldn’t care less about Target or Best Buy, and said so.

His board of advisers has already learned not to try to talk him out of his vision for the company. They encouraged him to price the product at no less than $49.95 per month. Lazarchic flatly refused, and Otterology’s roughly 800 users will start getting billed $19.95 per month this Friday.

“I didn’t build this because I wanted to be CEO of a software company,” Lazarchic said. “I built this for the guy who thinks he can maybe do $20 a month. No big company cares about that guy.”

lee.schafer@startribune.com • 612-673-4302

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  • « I didn’t build this because I wanted to be CEO of a software company. I built this for the guy who thinks he can maybe [afford] $20 a month. No big company cares about that guy. » Mark Lazarchic

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