by steven watts June 23, 2016

Business Development Program 2016/17

A mix of industry geniuses and legends

Slyde has been accepted into the 2016/17 class for the SIMA Business Development Program. The Program was set up and designed by SIMA in a quest to help early stage companies accelerate their business and strengthen the network of surf industry companies for the betterment of the entire industry. The Surf Business Development Program is now in its third year and Slyde was nominated from a host of impressive and inspiring companies to be one of the lucky few to benefit from the vast experience that SIMA and the Mentors bring to the table, that include the likes of John Wilson of stance socksStance chairs the SIMA Business Development Committee and its committee members include Bruce Beach, Dominique Checkwood of Stance, Duke Edukas of Surfside Sports, Ryan Hitzel of Roark, Ryan Kingman of Villager Goods and Tony Perez of The Enthusiast Network.   




Grueling intake - Great Companies

The intake and application for the program was a grueling one that included written application and in-person pitch where we had to share our aspirations and stories of the Slyde Brand and also convey what we hoped to get out of the Business Development Program. Only a small number of participants are chosen that this year include LoveSurf, Pro-Lite, Rastaclat and Simbi

We are super pumped to get going on the program, which includes four intensive workshops throughout the year, additional SIMA discounts, and mentorship and support from the SIMA Business Development Committee.

A word from Stance

“We are very excited to get started with this year’s diverse class of participants in the  Business Development Program. The brands are an excellent cross section of the surf and lifestyle industries including; accessory products, surfboards, men’s and women’s apparel, as well as, brands headquartered on both the East and West Coasts,” notes Business Development Committee Chairman, John Wilson of Stance socks “It’s a great representation of the newness and freshness that retailers and consumers are looking for.”

Roark revival

Roark benefited greatly from the mentorship provided in the inaugural session of the Business Development Program and I don’t think there’s ever been a more pressing time for younger brands to gain knowledge from it”, says Ryan Hitzel, CEO and Founder of Roark Revival.  “I’m happy to lend some of my experience and help connect the new members with an exceptional group of advisors and topics that can help them grow their companies.”

steven watts
steven watts

Growing up in South Africa, Steve spent his youth dreaming of far off places. After spending eight years extensively traveling to many of the great surf destinations of the world getting dengue fever, having a near death experience from a falling coconut in mexico, Surviving a 15 foot drop on a handboard on a Nias bomb, jumping from every rock he could find without adequate health insurance. and comprehensively debunking the myth there are no waves in Thailand, even if they are small. He decided it was time for a a degree. Steve Graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London with a degree in product design. He missed his graduation to go surfing in Californian, found a kindred spirit with Venice and never left

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