OnDefend Celebrates Second Consecutive Year as One of the Fastest Growing Company on the First Coast

September 25, 2023

Originally written for Jacksonville Business Journal by James Cannon

For more than 25 years, the Jacksonville Business Journal has identified the fastest growing companies on the First Coast.

This list has tracked companies that boomed during the good times, that grew even when the economy shrank, that stand as an example of what ingenuity, hard work and creativity can lead to.

This year’s list of honorees are drawn from a range of industries, including real estate, transportation, technology and manufacturing.

As a group, the Fast 50 honorees saw their revenue grow by more than $2 billion collectively over the past three years.

OnDefend made a significant leap up the rankings this year, taking home the coveted 14th spot, a one-position improvement from last year.

Founded in 2016 by Co-Founders Chris Freedman & Ben Finke, OnDefend started as a service company but has quickly become a leader in the SaaS space with their attack simulation tool, BlindSPOT.

In this interview with the Jacksonville Business Journal, Freedman explains what this milestone means to the company.

What led you to the point of starting or buying into a company? “I wanted to change the world in a positive way and watching companies being devastated by cyber criminals inspired Ben and myself to launch OnDefend so that we could help companies around the world secure their future.”

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome as you’ve grown? Covid was not easy for any company to endure, but being followed by an economic downturn has made growth at the scale I would prefer extremely difficult.

What’s been the ‘secret sauce’ that has helped propel your growth? Identifying niche markets in our industry and executing effectively within them.

What have you done to keep your company culture strong as you grow? Our core values which are Passion, Creativity, Humility, Motivation, Integrity and Authenticity.

What advice did you receive earlier in your career that has stuck with you as you lead your company? Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.

What advice would you have for those who are looking to lead a fast-growing company? Find a strong niche through market research and build a team of smart people to execute your vision and mission in a sustainable way.

What challenges or opportunities do you see on the horizon and how are you preparing for them? Spinning out a SaaS business from a service-based organization and scaling both independently during an economic downturn.

Link to original article: 2023 Class of Fast 50: Ondefend


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