SlipSure founders, Sherrie & Paul Norton are lifelong boaters and know what a problem it can be to find a slip for your boat when you need it most. As well as for planned activities — visiting a new marina as part of a cruise, often you need to access a slip in a hurry because of weather, mechanical breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances.
SlipSure is designed to remove the anxiety and give you peace of mind that a slip or mooring is waiting for you when you need it most.
Sherrie and Paul had been kicking around an idea for an app that would allow boaters to book slips much like you would use Open Table for a table at a restaurant or accommodation on a travel site. They had formulated the idea but were unsure of what to do next to get started. With nothing to lose they registered for Startup Weekend Stamford and made the commitment that if their idea was picked, it should be brought to life!
″The startup weekend was simply amazing″ remembers Sherrie. ″Our teammates found a fit for their skills and got to work, not a lot of discussion or debate, just got on with it. We also had coaches and mentors guiding us along the way. The guidance we received over the weekend advanced our idea from something we just talked about to a plan we could move forward with. It was amazing. We hardly slept it was so exciting. We knew there had been something special about the weekend and when we gave our final presentation we felt good about our prospects. But hearing our name announced as the winners at the end of the event was a thrill for the whole team. We were Triumphant″!
It was a year of market research and planning. Paul and Sherrie interviewed several firms to do the coding and selected Applikey in the fall.
The story of SlipSure’s appearance can be found in an excellent article here.
The business model relies on two parties: boat owners who are looking for a slip or mooring and the marinas who provide these services. The demographic of these users is very broad so the solution needed to be easy to use as well as reliable.
″Our app is made for the mobile boating community where users will be using phones and tablets to book slips online. We started with web only to manage developments costs while we continued to look at hybrid solutions. Ultimately we came to the decision we would not be able to support the IOS market without building a proper IOS version. Our preference would have been to stay web only but between Apple’s own rules and performance considerations it became clear we needed an IOS version″, remembers Paul.
We used Ruby on Rails framework and AngularJS (1.5.7) to build the fantastic website for SlipSure. AngularJS allows you to make extraordinarily expressive, readable solutions and declares dynamic views.
For user convenience Applikey also integrated Google Maps, so a precise location can be seen.
Braintree is a simple, robust way to accept payments from almost anywhere both in the iOS app or via the web. Users have access to multiple payment methods, simple pricing, top-notch protection, and world-class support.
Our designers worked in close collaboration with Paul & Sherrie to make the look of SlipSure beautiful by using a color palette and images that are reminiscent of water, whilst being simple enough to use whilst cruising and potentially with limited wireless access.
The layout and other design choices including fonts were created in concert with the color scheme from scratch which can be quite a challenge.