Marine industry draws big names to South Florida October 23, 2015
The marine and yachting industry in South Florida attracts some of the world’s leading search engine, software, IT and tech company founders, sports franchise owners, filmmakers and other elite innovators and philanthropists to our region. Many of their vessels can be seen receiving service at local marine facilities.
Last October, Dania Beach-based Magic Leap raised $542 million in venture capital in a financing effort led by Google Inc., with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Legendary Entertainment, and a personal investment from CEO Thomas Tull, KKR, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, and other investors.
- Google founders Larry Page and Eric Schmidt are yachting devotees. Page, who sits on the boards of several nonprofits and is a generous philanthropist, owns the 194-foot Senses motoryacht. Schmidt and his wife Wendy, who are active philanthropists through their Schmidt Family Foundation, own the 194-foot Oasis.
- Tom Perkins, co-founder of Kleiner Perkins, launched his 289-foot sailing yacht The Maltese Falcon in 2006. He sold it for a reported £60 million in 2009. In 2011 he bought a Japanese fisheries training vessel and had it converted to an adventure “yacht” (Dr. No) with a two-passenger Super Falcon submarine that can be used for research expeditions.
- Vulcan Capital founder Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, has a reported lifetime giving of about $1 billion and is referred to as one of the top philanthropists in America. Allen has owned several yachts, including the 414-foot Octopus.
- Seven Seas, owned by world renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg, calls Fort Lauderdale home for part of the year.
- Boater and fishing enthusiast Jack Nicklaus donated $60 million to the Miami Children’s Hospital this year and has committed to helping them raise another $90 million. The South Florida resident recently took part in a video promoting the region’s thriving marine industry and is a devout bone fisherman.
- Larry Silverstein, who owns the Twin Towers, services his boat at local boatyards. And as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, he and his wife used to take their boat out on patrol.
- The Jim Moran Foundation has donated significant resources to numerous local charities. Jim Moran’s family owns several vessels.
- Shahid Khan, whose 312-foot motoryacht Kismet recently became the largest yacht ever docked at Bahia Mar, is the founder of the auto parts manufacturing company Flex-N-Gate. He owns the Jacksonville Jaguars.
What do all of these have in common? Charity, entrepreneurs, business and boats.