Fathom Invents Underwater DronesBy Amanda Lewan on June 1st, 2016 /
At the Mackinac Policy Conference this year entrepreneurs will be pitching to Shark Tank star Daymond John. We ran into two up and coming founders ready to pitch on stage, but sharing their story with us first.
Matthew Gira and Danny Vessells are the co-founders of Fathom, one of the first underwater drones. The idea came about while Danny was reflecting back on time he spent on a cottage off of Lake Michigan. He used to hear tons of stories from artifacts that were lost to the waters, horse drawn carriages, and other fabled treasures sunk to the bottom of the lake. What if we could better explore? The underwater drone could offer that tool for exploration.
Based in Grand Rapids, the duo just graduated college from Hope University. They’re now focusing efforts on getting their first prototype to the market. The underwater drone is hooked up to a tether that allows it to wirelessly connect up to 100 feet to a booey, then goes down up to 100-150 feet below the subsurface.
What would you explore? The drone could be used to get footage underwater, for sports enthusiasts or education. Danny shared with us one potential customer who is a retired marine and misses diving now could re-live the experience again.
“We have high power users, sports and infrastructure uses, and low power users who are more recreational,” said co-founder Matt.
The startup raised $20K from the emerge accelerator in Grand Rapids, won a five by five night with start garden, and also won a recent pitch competition called MWest.
“The resources we’ve found in grand rapids has been incredible. We’ve gotten plugged in and received a lot of help,” Matt said.
The startup aims to have their product fit similar to a “GoPro,” positioning it as a tool that’s accessible and can be used often for different uses. Pricing will be around $600, though the team is sill finalizing the product and raising funds for it’s launch.
“We want this to enable people to explore things they want to see,” said Matt.
Check out more on this new product here: http://fathomdrone.com/