Written by November 20, 2019
Justin Rietema and Doug Schultz are landscape architects by trade, but boaters at heart. So the area residents spent six years developing a life-saving flotation jacket, called the Human Bobber, in the hopes of achieving financial independence.
They took a major step in that direction when they successfully pitched their invention on -TV’s Shark Tank program, winning support from two nationally prominent entrepreneurs.
On Sunday night, Shark Tank revealed on its latest episode that Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary, an investment fund operator and software entrepreneur, pledged to back the inventors with....Read More
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.