Entrepreneurs drive change. They see opportunities and they take risks.
With limited support for startups in this space, it is not easy to launch and scale new products and services.
The YV team can see huge potential for ambitious entrepreneurs to improve efficiency, generate job opportunities and ultimately change the leisure marine, yachting and superyachting industries for the better.
Gabbi was one of the first employees at SeedLegals - a high growth tech startup in London that recently closed a $4 million Series A Round with facebook-backer Index Ventures. At SeedLegals, she worked directly with founders, startup accelerators and investors to help automate the fundraising process.
Prior to SeedLegals, Gabbi studied law and worked as a charter broker for Camper & Nicholsons. She is currently a trainee solicitor with maritime law firm Campbell Johnston Clark in London and is also a Director of Young Professionals in Yachting (YPY) UK.
Tim is the Director of Lurssen Americas. In his role, he focuses on sales of new builds and refits for Lurssen in North and South America as well as providing shoreside support for Lurssens cruising in the Americas.
Prior to working for Lurssen, Tim was the Director of Feadship America in a similar role and has also represented the Rodriguez Group in the Americas markets. In 2016, he left Feadship to found Rentlit.com, a tech startup focused on property management. Tim lives in Fort Lauderdale, loves triathlons, and is married with two beautiful young daughters.
Charlie co-founded Y.CO in 2004. He worked alongside his business partner Gary Wright to scale and grow their small yacht management start-up into a globally renowned name in yachting. Y.CO is now recognised as one of the leading full-service yacht companies in the industry and supports over 100 large yacht operations worldwide.
As a highly creative and forward-thinking CEO, Charlie is passionate about enhancing the yachting experience and has spearheaded several industry-first initiatives over recent years. Y.CO is headquartered in Monaco, with offices in London and Fort Lauderdale.
MERIJN DE WAARD
Merijn is the founder and director of SuperYacht Times (SYT), which he established in 2005. The publication has become the leading yachting website with around 500,000 visits per month. In 2014 a bi-monthly printed newspaper, The SuperYacht Times, was added to the portfolio.
The company also publishes a yearly market report and our intelligence system, SuperYacht Times iQ, is the most powerful and accurate market intelligence tool for superyacht owners and professionals. In March 2020 SYT also bought the onboard infotainment system YachtEye.
Jessika is the co-founder of PACTA Relations - a management consulting firm specialising in Investor Relations, Marketing and Corporate Development. She has over 10 years of experience in capital markets, public relations and business development.
Prior to founding PACTA Relations, Jessika advised Camper & Nicholsons International in the Marketing and Business Development department for the Americas. She secured several partnerships with luxury brands and organised yacht shows including Monaco, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach.
Matt is a serial entrepreneur on his 4th startup as the founder of Borrow A Boat - a charter marketplace that includes peer-to-peer listings and has now raised more than £3 million in funding.
Often described as the airbnb for boats, Borrow a Boat was also recently part of the Natwest Accelerator in London. Matt brings a wealth of practical experience on crowdfunding, the marketplace business model, scaling via SEO and optimising UI/UX.
Hadleigh is the founder and CEO of SwipedOn - a leading visitor management solution with over 6,000 subscribers globally, including dozens of superyachts. SwipedOn was part of an accelerator in New Zealand, raised $1 million in funding and sold for $11 million in 2018, after being acquired by a UK listed SmartSpace Software.
Hadleigh is a qualified Master Mariner, with a former seagoing career of 18 years, including seven years onboard superyachts. He is passionate about early stage business, tech led innovation and the superyacht industry. Having left the sea behind for an office, he spends his time trying to get back on the water, in his native New Zealand.
Lauren is the Founder of Cotton Crews - a bespoke yacht crew agency based in South Florida. Appreciating the importance of technology, Cotton Crews launched two apps in 2018 and has also broken into the property market - now providing safe, clean crew housing to over 200 crew members between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
Prior to launching Cotton Crews in 2013, Lauren worked for Rybovich Superyacht Marina and Worth Avenue Yachts. She grew up on the water in South Florida and graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University with a degree in communications and marketing.
Rose Damen is a Non-Executive Director and a shareholder at the family owned Damen Shipyards Group. Rose heads Damen’s yachting division – which includes Amels, Damen Yacht Support and SeaXplorer. Damen owns the largest superyacht facility in the Netherlands and is world-renowned for the very highest quality superyachts above 50 metres in length.
Before joining Damen Shipyards full-time in 2014, Rose earned an MBA from INSEAD, with a focus on entrepreneurial management. This followed five years’ experience in fund management at a London-based institutional investor. Together with her sister, Rose was winner of the 2017 Enterprising Women of the Year Award for the category over $100 million in annual revenues.
Sipke is the Commercial Director at Feadship America. He joined Feadship initially in the Netherlands as a Sales Manager before moving to America in 2018.
Prior to joining Feadship, Sipke started his own yacht brokerage - Yacht Consult - in Belgium, when he was just 21 years old. Although young and lacking in experience, Yacht Consult grew from strength to strength and is now the exclusive dealer for Ferretti Yachts, Pershing and Riva in Benelux.
Sipke currently lives in Miami with his wife and son and tries to spend as much time as possible having fun on the water.
Joseph entered the yachting industry after a career in the Israeli high-tech space as a serial entrepreneur in data communications. He is the founder & CEO of WinterHaven Technology - a startup breaking the traditional model of Refit Shipyard/Marina and creating a new experience with an upgraded set of facilities, features and scale. The plan is to reshape the way superyachts are being managed and operated with a revolutionary platform that will change how superyachts are designed and built.
Joseph is also an Ambassador for the Globalize Accelerator based in Silicon Valley.
Anissa is a co-founder and the CEO of NEXT Yachting. She was born in Belgium and graduated as a skilled interpreter, speaking almost six languages. After graduation, she first joined Engel & Völkers in the premium real estate division before launching the yachting arm of Engel & Völkers as CEO in 2015 and was integral in scaling the company to what it is today.
Anissa is fascinated by the sea and passionate about the amazing experiences the sea has to offer. As CEO of NEXT Yachting, she brings a fresh outlook and modern perspective to the yacht brokerage sector.
Steven is the founder and CEO of YATCO, the Official MLS of Yachting with over 20 years in the yacht brokerage marketplace and over $5 Billion a year in sold vessel transactions.
Before founding YATCO, Steven was the world's #1 dealer for the Ferretti Group and the former International Sales Manager of Viking Yacht Company.
Using his wealth of experience and education as an Alumnus of the Harvard School of Business, Steven works daily to serve the best interests of yachting and advance the industry through technology, making YATCO BOSS the leading platform online.
Sarah is the co-founder of Njord with Bergman Design House.
She has worked with some of the yachting industry’s most well known names, including Owners and their representatives, shipyards, designers, brokerage companies, yacht management companies and superyachts themselves.
Sarah has helped in delivering strategies, protecting and managing reputations, project managing new concepts, showcasing major global campaigns and implementing specialist activities that have had outstanding results for all her clientele.
Onno is currently the Director of Events, Marketing and Finance at ACREW and is also involved in ZoomYachting Turkey and startups Majestic Superyacht Experiences and Royal Wellness.
He has a background in the superyacht sector being a shareholder in ACREW since its first year and adds 20 years of corporate experience running a top 5 consultancy, marketing and advertising company in the Netherlands. He has consulted many companies on marketing & sales strategies, funding and corporate structures. His core strengths lie in process optimisation, building teams and financial management.
Edward is the founder of Gym Marine - the superyacht industry's first specialist gym designer. After growing up in Antigua, Edward spent 6 years as yacht crew before stepping ashore to found Gym Marine in 2014.
Gym Marine has designed and installed gyms on both the worlds' largest sailing and motor yachts - Dilbar and Black Pearl - and is currently estimated to be working on more than 60% of new build yacht projects over 50m in Northern Europe.
Over the past 6 months, Edward has also been part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Scheme at Oxford University, where he has developed a strategic growth plan to take Gym Marine to the next level.
MARCELA DE KERN ROYER
Marcela combines a passion for yachting with a strong international academic background. She is the founder of YPY Monaco and has just launched the first superyacht industry textbook.
As Business Development Director for ICON Yachts, she has gained exposure to all facets of the industry including new build, refit, brokerage, management and as a supplier. Marcela obtained an MBA from Hult Business School in Boston and a BSBA degree from the International University of Monaco. She speaks six languages fluently.
Henry is the Founder of Kraken Travel - a curated online market place specialising in sailing adventures worldwide. Now in its 4th year, Kraken started as a blank sheet of paper scribbled on Henry's morning commute to his desk as a city lawyer. It now lists 200+ trips across six continents and recently closed a seed round of £120,000 whilst the world was literally in lockdown.
Whilst at the helm of Kraken, Henry has continued to work part-time as a lawyer and become a father twice over. He is a strong believer in pragmatism and the power of involving great people.
Sophia is the Founder of Sophia Tutino Yachting Ltd - a boutique yachting company specialised in yacht charter and charter management. Prior to launching her own company, Sophia worked for 3 of the leading brokerage houses over the course of 12 years: Burgess, Ocean Independence and IYC.
Sophia also maintains an active participation in yachting associations globally - including the Association of Women in Yachting (AWY), Charter Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA), Young Professionals in Yachting (YPY), European Committee for Yachting Professionals (ECPY) and International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA).
Bert joined IGY Marinas in 2007 as Vice President of Marketing & Sales. He is responsible for developing and implementing marketing plans leading to revenue growth for 19 marinas across 11 countries, as well as providing marketing support to IGY’s third-party clients and destination partners.
Bert is also currently the Marketing Director of United States Superyacht Association and served on the Marine Industries Association of South Florida – owner of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida, where he majored in Business Administration and attained a Mini-MBA Certification from Broward College.
Sherif is a Senior Advisor at PwC Luxembourg and is a business designer, product developer and communication expert.
Prior to joining PwC, Sherif co-founded several businesses and developed a strong network of investors and key market players in Egypt and the MENA region. He holds a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation from the University of Luxembourg, as well as a B.Sc. in Product Development and Industrial Design.
Sherif is also heavily involved with BlueInvest - an initiative enabled by the European Union which aims to boost innovation and investment in sustainable technologies for the blue economy.
Nathan launched Boatyard in January 2015, as the world’s first on-demand marketplace for recreational boating. In February 2020, Boatyard was acquired by MarineMax - the largest recreational boat and yacht retailer in the USA. Boatyard was Nathan’s second successful exit as a founder and he now leads Boatyard as an intrapreneur at MarineMax.
Nathan is a member of the Marine Industry Association of South Florida and was named in the Boating Industry’s first 40 under 40 list. He is a sailor, kitesurfer, snowboarder, and most importantly, husband and father.
Barry is the CEO of Day 8 Experiences, the company behind the iconic The Yacht Week and Quarterdeck Life. Barry has over 15 years of experience in hospitality, and private equity. Barry is passionate about helping grow businesses and mentoring young enthusiastic entrepreneurs.
The business has operated since 2006 and Day 8 Experiences has welcomed more than 100,000 guests from over 100 countries and established a truly global community of sailing travellers and revelers from all walks of life.
Sam formed v360group 5 years ago with co-founder and ex-yachtie Greg Beach, who previously worked onboard as a Chief Engineer.
v360 has since become a global leader in providing immersive technology solutions across a range of industries, including the yachting sector.
Sam has over 15 years’ experience building and scaling business in a range of sectors from engineering consultancies to technology start-ups, having raised over £1.5M in funding along the way.
Michael works for Sea Ray Boats, where he is the finance lead for the Sykes Creek manufacturing facility that produces models such as the flagship Sundancer series.
He is a Certified Public Accountant who holds both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Butler University and is currently an MBA candidate at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Laura has worked in the yachting and marine industries for 14 years. In her current role at Camper & Nicholsons Marinas, she is responsible for the international marketing of superyacht destinations and develops strategies to support individual marina objectives.
Laura also works in the consultancy side of the business, offering marketing and communication solutions for the development of new and exciting marina developments around the world.
Matteo is a Chartered Engineer and is currently a member of the Management Team at Lateral Naval Architects. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a MSc in Yacht and Small Craft.
He started his career in The Netherlands working with leading superyacht industry shipbuilders, and has significant experience in large yacht projects (new build, refit, ad-hoc consultancies). Matteo is also a proud Member of The Royal Institution of Naval Architects.
Drew is the Engineering Manager and head of Commercial Sales for ZF Marine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Naval Architecture, a Master’s degree in Product Architecture, and an MBA.
He has worked with a variety of yacht builders, including Feadship, General Dynamics NASSCO, and Brunswick. Passionate about design and innovation, Drew holds multiple patents for boating-specific products and software, and he was selected as one of Boating Industry’s 40 Under 40 in 2020.
David is passionate about the implementation of new technology, especially electric propulsion. Having previously worked with Rolls-Royce, he designed the Vita power boat which went on to win the Monaco Offshore Electric power boat race in 2018 and 2019.
Currently the Head of Marine at Morson Projects (an engineering consultancy), David has experience in the ups and downs of a startup business and understands how to engage with investors.
Andrew is the Head of MatthewsDaniel Superyacht loss adjusting. He assists Owners and Insurers with investigating and presenting claims following losses. Since starting at MatDan, he has taken the yacht division to all corners of the globe, both with the loss locations and also from his client base, working with Insurers internationally.
Andrew is a committee member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, a race officer, a World Sailing Offshore Safety Inspector and a guest lecturer at Solent University.
We are continuously building on our network and excited to hear from those that can add value to the team.
If you are inspired to join Yachting Ventures, please describe your experience and why you would be a good fit below.