They say that no great idea can get off the ground without passion. For Coconut Creek resident Doug Schultz and Oakland Park resident Justin Rietema, it was a mutual love for being on the water that turned these friends into entrepreneurs and business partners.
“I had a boat in 2009, with a couple other friends,” Rietema recalls. “We always used to jump in the water and put our life jackets on upside down, and float.”
They called it Float Club and spent many weekend hours floating. But they knew there had to be a better way than with their makeshift solution.
“The life vest upside down—it doesn’t work very well,” Schultz says. “There’s foam everywhere. It’s constantly trying to fly out from underneath you. Trying to get up on the boat ladder is a nightmare.”
The friends, both of them landscape architects, turned their skills toward creating a flotation device specifically designed for their weekend fun.
Doug Schultz, co-founder of H3O Sports, which appeared on ABC's Shark Tank in October 2017, is a first-time entrepreneur who patented an innovative new life vest motivated by his dissatisfaction with all the existing products on the market.
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