My-Villages, a company facilitating an online marine industry collaborative, announced that it moved from its former Alexandria, Va., headquarters to the Stuart, Fla., area so it can be in the largest U.S. boating market.
“With the number of Florida-based marine businesses joining us in the past few months, it made sense to be closer to our partners,” My-Villages CEO and founder Kevin Hutchinson said in a statement.
My-Villages seeks to improve the boat ownership experience by transforming how boats are operated and serviced through a “digital village,” using web and mobile technology. More than 30 brand-name marine companies now serve as My-Villages beta partners, helping to craft products that serve both owners and industry; many are in Florida.
Similarly, many on the growing list of My-Villages’ Innovation Partners are also based in Florida. Innovation Partners are marine businesses that have agreed to use and/or market My-Villages’ premium service — a digital application available for Web browsers, smartphones and iPads — that allows boat owners and marine professionals to simplify boat operations and maintenance.
The majority of the My-Villages Industry Advisory Council members, who offer guidance to the company on market conditions and other related matters, are also in Florida.
“We clearly understand that Florida is one of the major boating centers in the United States, home to more than 900,000 registered vessels last year and host of the industry’s two largest annual boat shows in Miami and Fort Lauderdale,” Hutchinson said in a statement.
“Marine businesses in Florida posted more than $1.1 billion in sales in 2010, the latest year for which statistics are available. And on a personal note, being a passionate boater myself who has spent 10 years traversing the northeast waters of the Chesapeake Bay area, I’m looking forward to exploring the beautiful waters of the Southeast and to mix both business and pleasure here in the Sunshine State.”