Two suitcases, actually.
Meet Anthony DiMare. The name means “of the sea” in Italian. He graduates college in a few weeks and is the CEO of his own company: Regattable.
DiMare, a mechanical engineering major, has created a sail boat for “everyone else” that breaks barriers and is “new, modern, and sexy.”
He leans forward in his chair at the Tech Garden and enthusiastically explains the story.
Q: Where did you come from? How did you get into sailing?
DiMare: “I was exposed early. Friends of mine had boats and I learned to sail at summer camp. I would try to find ways to sail back home. I got a job in a boathouse when I was 16 and was promoted to Head of Maintenance when I was 17, maintaining a fleet of boats. I was ‘pretty okay’ at it.
When I came to SU, I had a choice: sailing or ski team. I chose ski because of the snow through most of the school year.
I’m from Hopkinton, Mass. – the start of the Boston Marathon.”
Q: How did the idea for the boat come about?
DiMare: “I interned at Allen Medical Systems, a surgical device company. They make patient positioning devices to put you in weird positions and are noted to be non-traditional. Their big thing is to not just work well but look nice. A lot of those tools look like medieval torture devices and make patients feel they are going to be tortured and killed. They focus on aesthetics to overcome that problem. That’s where I learned most of my product design skills.
I was looking for a way to create a portable boat that would be fun and exciting, and then I figured it out!
The key or the “aha!” moment was when I saw the Oru kayak: it folds and sets up in five minutes, is only 25 lbs. and is super cool! So I created the instant sailboat: carbon fiber, mast, sail, rudders and good to go! A catamaran: boat with two hulls.
I founded Regattable, got into the StartUp Labs program, and brought on some teammates to help start the business. We used the Tesla Motors model. They’ve created an interface where you can interact over the internet with your physical car: change the settings, etc. There is nothing like that in the sailing industry. That’s what we are working on. That’s the future. I believe all physical products in a few years to come will be adaptable with the use of the internet – even a water glass, for instance.”
Q: What is your vision for the company?
DiMare: “We are eliminating three major barriers in sailing: storage, transportation, and cost and creating something modern and sexy that people like. The Hobie 14 and 16 did that in the 1970’s creating a hugely popular affordable boat that wasn’t stuck to a dock or marina. Up until then, sailing was only for the “uber-rich.” We want people to be able to drive up to water anywhere and be able to go sailing. It’s adventurous, it’s cool. We can do that for under $20k but are shooting more for 6; and I believe we can.”
Q: So you’ve tested it?
DiMare: “Oh, I knew it would sail. No one else did. It was just a question of how well it would sail. I haven’t tested it on high winds, but yes, we successfully tested it in NYC: just drove to the shoreline and took it out of an SUV.” [His eyes widen.]
Q: What now?
DiMare: “We are bringing on a naval architectural firm and raising money for “seed round” of production. My hope is to expand to big cities such as NYC, Boston, and San Francisco and set up unique boutique shops for these things. Nobody does this right now. It’s totally cutting edge. We want to appeal to the younger sailor and be that cool thing – like a performance car [he smiles] everybody wants one!”
Q: Final thoughts?
DiMare: “What we are doing is really prophetic of the entire business market. More and more products will go “online” and become interactive. It’s really exciting stuff.”
A former Internet Marketing Manager, Joe Cunningham is a screenwriter, playwright and all-around adventurer. He blogs for Kinani Blue, charms Google at Terakeet and enjoys running through the city. You can follow him on Twitter at @IndianaJoe77 or he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.