After pursuing studies in diesel technology and mechanical engineering, Mike Bashawaty became the owner and operator of his own diesel shop. His friend, Jeremy Quillico, graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Cyber Security, and is Senior Systems Administrator for a manufacturing plant. Both Mike and Jeremy love the outdoors and often go boating on the beautiful lakes in Michigan.
One of the things Mike particularly likes to do is boat out to a sandbar and hang out there with a few friends for hours at a time. Of course, sometime during the day, they will get (very) hungry. Cold sandwiches are fine in a pinch, but having the ability to grill up something tasty is so much better. But carrying a standard backyard grill, along with charcoal and a lighter didn’t seem very practical.
In 2017, Mike got the brilliant idea to combine his love of grilling and his love of being on the water. He worked up a prototype and shared it with Jeremy, who thought it was a great idea. The friends did some online research, discovered that nothing like it was available, and decided to work together to bring a floating grill to the market.
The partners raised their initial capital in 2018 through Angel List. Two rounds in March and June of that year raised a total of $130,000. They started advertising on Facebook, and then established their website in May of 2018. Mike and Jeremy began to promote the product at boat and outdoor shows. They attended the Detroit Boat Show in February of 2019 and Sun & Snow exhibition in Plymouth, Michigan, in July 2019.
Float ‘N’ Grill is made in the U.S. from textured marine-grade vinyl. It has a slot to hold the propane tank, and the grill lid is secured by a dual latch. For cleaning, the grill has a removable grease trap. A built-in igniter eliminates the need for carrying matches or other lighting device. The Float ‘N’ Grill is manufactured at International Mold Corporation in Clinton Township, Michigan.
Mike and Jeremy auditioned for Shark Tank early in the development of the grill, but did not make it on the show. In true entrepreneur spirit, when a casting call went out again in 2019, they decided to give it another try. This time it worked! The partners are looking forward to getting in the water with the Sharks, and are hoping they will bite!