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Startup roundup: 4 local firms talk food, friendship and boats

Cabe Nolan loves being out in the open sea, but when he's ready to bring his water vessel in, he sometimes has trouble finding an available dock.

"I noticed how difficult it was to find docks outside the typical marina and some of what you do find is run down," Nolan told Orlando Business Journal. "I started seeing that I was passing dozens of boat docks that don't have boats, and I wondered how I could connect people like me to those docks."

Nolan created an online service called Dock Skipper— an idea he calls the Airbnb of docking service — a peer-to-peer platform for dock owner to list their property to boaters in need of one.

Nolan launched the app in January. While 500 people are signed up for the service, he has more than 50 people listing their docks.

Nolan's company was one of four that presented at Orlando Tech Association'sOrlando Tech Meetup on June 16 — a way for the local tech community to showcase up and coming firms and for the presenting owners to pitch their service and perhaps gain new users.

The monthly meetup is also a way for tech entrepreneurs to gather feedback about their service that may help them overcome challenges.

Nolan said his company is facing the problem of connecting with his correct audience. Being a young company that thrives from a generally new idea of a peer-to-peer model, he said he's facing the challenge of gaining the older audience. "Most people have heard of Airbnb, but the interesting thing is their average age are people in their 30s. People that use a boat are normally in their 50s," he said. "Even though this [peer-to-peer concept] may be a common concept to some, it's not common to others."

While listing a dock through the service is free, Dock Skipper charges 4 percent of the price to the user that reserves a dock and 4 percent to dock owners once a transaction is completed. The service is entirely web-based, but Nolan said he working on creating an official app as well.


Orlando Tech Association's blog listed the other tech firms that presented, too.Here's a look:

  • Friendish: A friending app that connects users with people around them who share common interests.
  • Familink: This helps you stay connected with loops, where you can create quick posts, which make keeping people updated easier than texting.
  • Pull Up a Seat: Pull-Up-A-Seat is a food app that allows you to find anyone cooking in a 20-mile radius of you and simply "pull up a seat." Via dine-in, delivery and takeout, you are now in control of what food you want, when you want it and how you experience or share it.


Source: Click Here Or