VUNK alumni 2015 Marina Ahoy: It's all about the product market fit

Marina Ahoy is a management and sales tool for leisure marinas and local harbors. It's also one of the 2015 season's Vunk alumni. The beginning, as expected, has not been all sugary. Reilika Metsallik-Koppel, co-founder of Marina Ahoy tells us a little about the journey.

Tell us about the inspiration for Marina Ahoy - are the founders all avid sailors? 

Marina Ahoy was born out of interest for this field. Our son started sailing a year ago and he loves it. Caught up by his passion, we started to see sailors among our friends and sailing as a great lifestyle. So, one day we hope to call ourselves avid sailors for sure. 

How well is the sailing world developed IT-wise? Are there similar other solutions out there? Any inspiring success stories from the marine world? 

We can't say sailing world isn't developed IT-wise. But we noticed, that there was a lack of solutions improving service quality in yacht harbours. It was really old-fashioned. For example - imagine arriving the harbour late at night and you can't get to the toilet or under the shower before the next morning because the harbour master went home already. Yes, there were different solutions for different tasks but we saw that we could overcome those issues only, when we have a self-service tool for the whole experience. 

So far - what has been the most challenging period-problem you have had to face? Has there been anything you’ve been afraid of but turned out just fine? 

This year we were a bit late with the launch and we had a bit too little to offer. So although we got positive feedback in every step the harbours weren't keen to try us out. This was a shock in some point but as we understood that it is going to be a great product we have used the time since for learning, seeing, exploring and having more interviews with stakeholders. 

What are the main goals for Marina Ahoy for the remaining 2016 / first half of 2017?

As a start-up we probably will remake our plans several times during that period. From one side our team is developing the tool to start sales. From the other side we are looking for the opportunity to expand the same model we have for leisure boating to commercial shipping. It's all about finding the product market fit. 

And the last one - what is your main professional personal goal? 

I'm a traveller by nature. You probably know the narrative of The Hero's journey. You have the need to go for something, you go and get it and you come back transformed to a better person seeing the world from a different angle. I always want to go again, for a higher mountain. 

This year's VUNK Garage48 hackathon will take place on 9-11 September. Check out the program here.