Along with team Prospus, VesselWise attended the 55th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show between October 30 and November 3, 2014, to showcase to prospective users—yacht dealers, manufacturers, management companies, captains and surveyors—their new, innovative concept: software that aims to massively simplify yacht survey and warranty management for owners.
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Prospus is incubating VesselWise, a cloud-based yacht issues management software that enables managers, captains and yacht owners to address issues related to their yachts in collaboration with dealers, manufacturers and service representatives in the most effective and efficient manner.
VesselWise is a product of co-founder Brandon Rundquist’s vision. Brandon is a captain with over 14 years of experience in the maritime industry, and he first conceived the idea of a software tool after being captain on two new yachts and managing their warranty claims on behalf of the owner. The concept of what this software could do then grew and evolved after he was involved in the construction of a few yachts.
In 2010, Brandon was first sent to Italy for nine months to oversee the construction of a 95-foot motor yacht. This experience helped Brandon understand the manufacturing difficulties in yacht construction as well as the challenge of meeting the yacht owner’s detailed demands. He saw that in addition to managing warranty claims, the software he had in mind could also help with the construction and survey processes. Since then, Brandon has been involved in the construction of more yachts—the last two being 84-foot Azimuts. The first was the prototype 84 USA Edition, which was delivered in February 2014, followed by a second 84 USA Edition delivered in November 2014. The third will deliver in December 2014. The latest build is a ready-to-operate 84-foot Azimut, while another yacht is now being constructed in Italy where Brandon has again been deployed by MarineMax for his expert advice as captain and consultant.
Having been in the maritime industry for well over a decade, Brandon understands the challenges within the industry. In Brandon’s own words, “Warranty management shouldn’t be so difficult and inefficient. The manufacturers, dealers, owners and yacht crew need to all be working from a common ground, a common platform. It’s time to take the ‘war’ out of warranty management.” So, in 2011 Brandon decided to move forward with the project and contacted Prospus for a solution. He worked directly with the company’s president and owner, Marc Ragsdale, to realize the vision of what would become VesselWise.
Marc Ragsdale, co-founder and interim president of VesselWise, is a techpreneur who founded Prospus, LLC of Portland, Oregon, USA and its wholly-owned subsidiary Prospus Consulting, Pvt. Ltd. based in Noida, India. Marc brings strong leadership experience and a deep understanding of digital technology to VesselWise, having helped several entrepreneurs overcome their complex technology challenges. Together, co-founders Brandon and Marc came up with this innovative, technology-led solution to address the yacht industry’s unique challenges.
Conceived as a simple, yet powerful mobile app, VesselWise enables yacht owners to get the most out of their warranty by streamlining the communication process among the many parties involved in service and warranty. The cloud-based software provides a common platform where yacht owners, captains, and managers can effectively collaborate with the dealer, warranty and service agents as well as manage the warranty process and facilitate service dialogue.
VesselWise and Prospus met with many surveyors and captains as well as some of the biggest yacht dealers, yacht manufacturers and yacht management companies at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The response from veteran captains and surveyors as well as a brand manager from MarineMax was highly encouraging. Craig, a surveyor based in Fort Lauderdale said, “It’s very exciting. I look forward to using this app.” Mike, a captain with one of MarineMax’s clients, while sharing handwritten note listing issues on his vessel, said, “I need this [app].”
As Brandon flies back to Italy to overlook construction of a new Azimut yacht, Prospus is continuing rapid development and testing of the application across iOS and Android devices for an early 2015 beta release.