September 15, 2022 - 9:49 am

20Fathoms announces the graduation of Hybrid Robotics and Starboard Solutions

By 20Fathoms

The Traverse City-based tech startup incubator 20Fathoms is pleased to announce the graduation of Hybrid Robotics and Starboard Solutions Corp. A celebration for these 2022 graduates will be held Thursday, October 13, 5 7:30 pm, at 20Fathoms.

“Hybrid Robotics and Starboard Solutions are excellent indicators of the continued strength of the startup ecosystem in Traverse City,” said Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms. “Both companies used many of the local resources available and it provided them an amazing launch pad for their tech businesses.”

Hybrid Robotics, Founded by Matt Goddard, Ryan Mater, and Aaron Bottke

Hybrid Robotics designs and manufactures marine robotic solutions for research and inspections. Their products include the TMS (Tether Management System) smart winch for unmanned surface vessels and the SARbot search and recovery robotic system. The company was founded in 2018 by Matt Goddard, Ryan Mater, and Aaron Bottke when they were students at Northwestern Michigan College working on their prototype at the college’s Maker Space. Soon, they connected with local startup support resources: pitching at TCNewTech, joining the 20Fathoms coworking space, and meeting with local investors at Boomerang Catapult.

“Early on, we had a spot at the 20Fathoms coworking space and that’s where we started to build the company,” said Matt. “It was great meeting investors and meeting other companies. It provided the structure that we needed to move forward to as a manufacturing company.”

As Hybrid Robotics grew, they moved to a new larger workspace and have continued to expand their product line.

Starboard Solutions, Founded by Steve Johanson

Starboard Corp logo

Starboard Solutions (“Starboard”) is a technology solution for supply chain management. Steve Johanson founded Starboard in Ann Arbor in 2014. As his company grew, he moved to Traverse City and joined 20Fathoms.

“20Fathoms, first and foremost, are just a good bunch of people,” said Steve. “Part of the challenges of being an entrepreneur and working on your own is encouragement. Having a place to go with some progressively minded people who you can knock ideas around with, go to lunch with, talk about your dogs with…it’s just a great community.”

Starboard provides fast and powerful network design services. They offer an interactive digital platform that incorporates industry best practices and gaming technology that helps users quickly answer “what if” questions related to supply chain management. In 2022, Starboard was acquired by Logility where Steve now serves as Senior Vice President of Network Design.

Traverse City’s Hub for Startups

20Fathoms offers a hub of resources for startup founders like Steve, Matt, and their partners. Entrepreneurs have access to office space, educational programming, mentors, a peer network, investors, and talent acquisition services.

Currently, 20Fathoms is developing new incubator programming coming in 2023 that provides additional wrap-around services for entrepreneurs, particularly those in the earliest stages of business. The programming will expand on the current offerings with new opportunities for education, connects, capital, and resources.