The Team Behind the Best Boating App!

Find out more about the passionate team of sailors and computer scientists that are the brains behind savvy navvy.

Jelte Liebrand - CEO & Founder of savvy navvy
Jelte Liebrand
CEO & Founder

Jelte took part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race in 2014 onboard Jamaica. He had plenty of sailing experience, but racing from San Francisco to New York was quite a bit different from anything he'd done before. Sailing thousands of miles off-shore, he learnt how difficult navigation can be. Updating charts, downloading weather forecasts, predicting boat speed, avoiding squalls with 50+ knots of wind; it all took hours and hours below deck, plotting courses on a computer whilst hanging on at a 45 degree heel. Jelte became convinced there should be an easier way.

He spent two years researching and building the foundation for savvy navvy and in July 2017 he left his job at Google to get his vision of easy, safe navigation out to every sailor on the water. The rest they say is history!

Kevin O'Neill - Co-founder and Commercial Director
Kevin O'Neill
Co-founder & Commercial Director

Kevin and Jelte go back 18 years, when they worked together for Symbian, creating the mobile operating system of the (then) future.

Having travelled the world for work and pleasure and worked in many industries for large companies, Kevin realised that what he really likes is working in small teams where he can be really hands-on and make a meaningful contribution. So when Jelte explained his vision for savvy navvy and how the app would disrupt the sailing tech world, Kevin jumped onboard immediately.

He has broad business experience across different sectors, including energy, chemicals, hardware and software. He especially enjoys interacting with customers of many lands, solving new problems and negotiating and managing contracts.

In his spare time Kevin is an amateur photographer and drone pilot. He is also a textbook neophyte sailor who looks forward to testing the company yacht. We haven’t told him we haven’t got one yet.

Hannah Cotterell - Community Manager
Hannah Cotterell
Community Manager

Born in Bermuda and raised in the Caribbean Hannah spent the better part of her life living on or near boats! An avid sailor since the age of two, Hannah mixes her knack for storytelling with a love for the sea.

Hobbies include kite surfing, BBQing, flying drones, travelling the world and paddleboarding with her dog, Kiwi. Hannah also claims to be a part-time pirate.

Stefanos Mousafeiris - Lead Engineer
Stefanos Mousafeiris
Lead Engineer

Stefanos, born and raised in Greece, is well accustomed to the sea, but had never sailed before joining savvy navvy. With a background in physics and a strong interest in all this tech based, he is our lead developer in charge of savvy navvy’s routing algorithm, making sure we use only the best and most sophisticated maths, such that even he could navigate through the roughest seas at the touch of a button.

Stefanos loves music as well as basking in the stunning seaside views of the Mediterranean.

Tim Jones - Product Design Advisor
Tim Jones
Product Design Advisor

Tim and Jelte worked together at Google My Business; the team that helps put businesses on Google Maps. Before that he was the principle designer for YouTube mobile apps. A cartographer by trade, there is nothing that Tim can't turn his design skills too and we hope you like his design touches in the savvy navvy app as much as we do.

He has been sailing since his teens when he learnt to sail a dinghy on the Firth of Forth in a force 8. He has crewed regularly on a concrete 40ft yacht out of Pin Mill, Ipswich and now has his own sailing canoe.

David Cusworth - Community Partnership Manager
David Cusworth
Partnership and Innovation

Meet David, our super awesome Partnership and Innovation lead!

David has worked on and around the sea pretty much his whole life. Joining the Royal Navy at 16, racing around the world as part of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race then working shore-side on multiple round the world races. David is an RYA Yachtmaster, has sailed over 300,000 miles and is passionate about the water, sailing and seamanship.

David will work closely with the team to grow our network of savvy users and commercial partnerships around the globe to help us grow over the coming years.

Chris Whatley - Growth Hacker
Chris Whatley
Growth Hacker

Chris found sailing in his early twenties spending most weekends racing yachts along the UK’s East Coast sailing out of Burnham-On-Crouch, doing both inshore around the cans racing and offshore races all over the North Sea. A move to the South Coast in 2010 has allowed him to move his passion for sailing into his work life as a digital-focused marketing manager.

As our Growth Hacker Chris is tasked with the continued growth of the savvy navvy community, overseeing our marketing activity with a focus on paid and organic activity.

When not sailing or Thursday night racing in Lymington, you can find Chris cycling around the New Forest both on and off-road, paddle boarding, eating Welsh cakes and trying to stop his kids from ruling the house!

Matthew Holwill - Lead Geospatial Research Scientist
Matthew Holwill
Lead Geospatial Research Scientist

Matt started sailing dinghies in his early teens in North Wales and went on to become an RYA senior dinghy instructor.

After earning a PhD in physics he wanted to combine his love of sailing and research. Matt is responsible for modelling tidal currents and extracting meaningful data from satellite imagery to enhance the savvy navvy experience.

He's also always looking for a good opportunity to get out on the water, so if you need a crew for your yacht in Texas, please drop him a line.

Andy Sykes - Marketing Strategist
Andy Sykes
Marketing Strategist

Andy grew up in a seaside town in Dublin and, having spent his childhood sailing, kayaking and rowing, is passionate about all things related to the water. Prior to joining savvy navvy he worked in various marketing and business development roles for technology companies in both Germany and Ireland.

He met Jelte through a network for Google alumni and, after researching the app in more detail, became convinced that he and the team were on to something special. Following weeks of consistent nagging, he managed to convince Jelte to give him a job and the rest, as they say, is history.

Isabel Johnston - PR Manager savvy navvy
Isabel Johnston
PR Manager

Isabel used to row the canals of the Danish capital in Copenhagen. She has since exchanged the Danish waters for the UK’s Solent, spending her working life on generating PR within the marine industry.

Isabel promoted the Clipper Round the World in media across the globe during the 2012-2013 race working closely with David. They’ve recently reconnected about various PR opportunities, and she has since joined the savvy navvy team, as our PR Manager getting our the savvy navvy app in front of journalists and media outlets around the world.

Ivo Dimchev - Customer Support
Ivo Dimchev
Customer Support

Our man in Spain, eagerly awaiting to deal with all the customer support queries and questions. Ivo’s background, experience and multiple languages provide the backbone of our support team helping customers with queries, questions and issues, providing valuable input to the Engineering Team to progress the app’s development.

Living just outside Valencia, surrounded by marinas and boat-enthusiasts, he discovered the beauty of boating after he joined savvy navvy's team. He, his wife and two kids spend their evenings near the coast, but you can always find him available to answer your question, help you with your technical inquiry or just for a chat.


Didn’t find your perfect position?

We’re open to add new players to our team, if you think you can add value to our company, please contact us!