Nathan Heber, founder of Boatyard, initially conceived the company to be the Airbnb of boating. While working on it with South Florida's VentureHive business incubator, he recognized a larger opportunity in connecting the boating world.
"I knew the marine services industry was fraught with problems like service technicians not showing up for jobs and being difficult to schedule," he said. "I thought if we built a really simple user interface and provided remarkable customer experiences, we could improve the entire boat service experience. I saw that as a larger opportunity and pivoted the business."
The Boatyard app enables boat owners to order fuel, cleaning services, captains, and anything else they need for their boat with a couple clicks on their mobile devices.
"We also recently launched boatyard for business," Heber explained. "It's our simple back-office software for marine professionals that gives them the tools to manage their service business. We're the only backend software with a consumer facing app that enables customers to order boat services 24/7. Plus, we're big geeks for design, and I think we have the most user-friendly platform on the market."
Heber's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs focuses on grit. "It's all about staying power and perseverance," he said. "What separates those that make it from the 90 percent who didn't was that when it was easier to quit, they didn’t accept that as an option. That doesn't mean banging your head against a wall when things aren't working, but you’ve got to have exceptional perseverance and be even keeled to handle all the ups and downs."