This story is part of a series highlighting student startups and entrepreneurship in the Syracuse Student Sandbox during the 2013 summer residency.
By: Hailey Temple
Imagine being able to take the serenity and challenge of a sailboat with you wherever you go: through the streets of New York City, on your flight to London, or in the back of your car on the way to the lake with family. Regattable, a student startup in the Syracuse University Student Sandbox this summer, is looking to make that a reality by creating high-performance portable catamaran sailboats that can go anywhere your sailing dreams take you.
Regattable founder Anthony DiMare, a senior studying mechanical engineering at the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse, found his love for sailing in high school working at a boathouse in his hometown of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. A self-acclaimed adrenaline junkie, DiMare decided to turn his passion into a business while studying mechanical engineering at Syracuse University. “Boating is the perfect combination of serenity and adrenaline. I love building things and Regattable provides the perfect opportunity to apply what I am learning in school and do what I love,” said DiMare.
Regattable’s “Portable 16F Concept” creates a foldable and portable 16-foot catamaran that fits into two suitcases. The boat’s sixteen-foot hulls are made of Tegris, a lightweight composite material that provides durability on the water. The boats are customizable with flag prints on the rudder and printable images on the hulls. With these capabilities, DiMare seeks to bring convenience to customers who can ship and carry Regattable boats around the world.
As sailing becomes more popular internationally, Regattable also hopes to connect sailors through “The Harbor,” a social platform that records and compares racing boats. Using a handicapped system designed by co-founder Nicholas Poorman, a 2012 computer science graduate from SUNY Oswego, Regattable sailors will be able to compare their boats to others in a race based on boat models and results from other races. “The handicap system relies on the specs of the boats themselves and takes a universal data set from everyone who is sailing, and so far it has proven to be accurate,” said Poorman. “We hope that this system will allow anyone with the boats to travel and race against others using a system that is accessible and that improves with more information.
Although Regattable has only called the Sandbox home for a few weeks, the regatta flags are already roped across the office and ideas fill the whiteboard walls. As young entrepreneurs, DiMare and Poorman find that the incubator has become a space that provides for minor details like lighting to mentorships and networking opportunities.
“One of the greatest things is having something not work and then having it come together – that's what entrepreneurship is all about. You have a limited skill set and you need to network to find others with the skills you don't have,” said Poorman. “At the Student Sandbox, we can reach out to others with these skills and find the solutions improve our product and business model.”
For the Regattable team, the passion for boating provided the fuel to launch their company and keeps them afloat. However, DiMare advises young entrepreneurs to take their own passions to make ideas become a reality. “I cannot tell you how many times I have redone this design to make it work, but it’s that moment when it comes together that makes it worthwhile. If you have an idea and the passion for what you do, you have to stop thinking about it. Get out there and make it happen. Think less, do more.”