It shimmered on the show floor, the lights of ICAST dancing off its small, glossy facade as attendees strolled by. It was a Best of Show award, and it was Gerry Toscani’s reward for a year spent knocking down walls in the fishing industry.
It’s been said that this industry is a family affair. If you don’t know the ropes, it can be hard to break into. But Toscani and his crew at Weego have broken down the industry door in a big way in just over a year. The proof was set in glass at this year’s ICAST, atop Toscani’s all-new Weego Jump Starter 44—a smartphone-sized battery that can jump start boats, trucks, and (yes) even charge your iPhone and power your 12 volt accessories.
In the competitive world of batteries, the Jump Starter 44 is a bonafide badass. It’s one of the first truly mandatory products for outdoorsmen that’s come around in years, and that’s no exaggeration. It’s a simple, safe and ridiculously portable battery that anglers, travelers and spouses of both should absolutely have in their glove box or boat lockers. Heck buy 2! Customers are swooping them up in droves and retailers are starting to take notice.
“Sales have increased a lot since we expanded distribution,” Toscani says. “We’ve picked up more customers in marine, fishing, powersports and auto, many through outdoor distributors like Big Rock.”
It’s not hard to see why.
Features aside—the Jump Starter 44 features a bright 500 lumen light with up to 28 hours of S.O.S. mode, a USB charger and a 12-volt accessory port, that’s in addition to a new pair of user-friendly Smarty Clamps™ that prevent sparking and bad connections— the product has become a hit thanks to clever packaging (it comes in an old-school metal lunchbox) and practicality (nobody wants to be stranded on the lake or highway.)
It’s survival gear, plain and simple. And when you’re spending time in the outdoors, you can never be too prepared.
“Our primary goal is to make things safe and simple,” adds Toscani. “We want to make jumpstarting safer and easier. For that reason, we’ve designed our clamps to provide more grip and open wider when you’re looking for that good connection. The reason jumps fail is that users don’t establish a good connection. We’ve solved that.”
The 44, which Toscani says can charge most smartphones in 45 minutes, also features a polarity indicator of light and sound: if the light is green, you’ve got the polarities correct, if red…better turn those clamps around. Add to that Weego anti-spark technology, “Literally, the clamps will not spark if you touch metal or touch themselves,” Toscani says, and you’ve got a marine and travel essential that’s a no-brainer for extra sales. Weego offers an 18-month warranty to combat any concerns with retailers. And merchandising aids to help sell it through.
Need sales proof? Toscani has the hardware. And, he’s also got the stats.
“Year over year growth is about 50 percent,” he says.
Not bad for an industry newcomer.