with Jan Kadlec
Collaborator of Airbuddy
"Our vision is to bring the ease of snorkeling into the fascinating world of diving, so that more people can explore and appreciate the beauty of our marine life."
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Would you like to introduce a bit about the origin and background of the Airbuddy team?
We are a team of passionate divers, mechanical engineers and business professionals in Sydney, Australia. Our love for adventure and innovation brought us together to design AirBuddy, a small, lightweight and easy-to-use equipment for recreational diving.
What inspired you (and your team)to start Airbuddy?
We love diving, but not so much the logistics around it - especially on self-guided shallow water dives (around Sydney where we live or on beach holidays in e.g. Fiji, Malaysia, WA.) At some point, we came across surface-supplied diving, but didn't find any product that would be practical for us to buy and use with respect to size, weight, costs and performance. So we decided to build the first prototype of AirBuddy.
What is the mission or philosophy of Airbuddy?
Our vision is to bring the ease of snorkeling into the fascinating world of diving, so that more people can explore and appreciate the beauty of our marine life.
What some of the key features of the design of your product how did
differentiate yourself from the other diving brands?
The key difference is that AirBuddy is significantly lighter (about 75-80% less) and smaller than other recreational surface-supplied equipment. Other differences include the use of:
- integrated emergency air reservoir (15l large)
- magnetic detachable safety switch
- design features and an electronic system to minimise the capsize risk
- recoil hose for better position control and no-tugging
- battery level warning
- 50-70% cheaper price
How is diving or life underwater a worth-trying experience ?
Absolutely yes! The life underwater is beautiful, and vivid. You may have some amazing interactions with the wildlife. For us, this is the best way to relax. Did you know that there are more species of fish than mammals, birds and reptiles combined? And the vast majority tend to live in shallow water (around corals reefs).
What are some of the greatest challenges Airbuddy has faced and how
did you overcome them?
Designing a new product is a complex and challenging task. We engaged skilled people, worked with subject-matter experts, suppliers, freelancers, divers and public who helped us to resolve the problems and provided valuable feedback.
Whats the greatest achievement of Airbuddy?
There were many achievements along the way. It's hard to pick one. For example, we won a business competition at TEDx Sydney last year when we pitched the idea in front of few hundred people. At the moment, our Kickstrter campaign marks a very important milestone. We are moving from the design phase into manufacturing!
What is the vision of Airbuddy in 2017?
The first half of 2017 is all about our crowdfunding campaign and welcoming new supporters on board. In the second half, we will transition into the manufacturing phase and work closely with our suppliers and vendors.
Any advice for future entrepreneurs and startups?
Hmm, we would just recommend anyone who has a great idea and the passion for it to give it a go and follow their heart. They key is to believe that your idea has a potential to make the world at least a bit better. Sadly, we met many people who had a good idea, but hesitate to take the risk.