The Birth and Berth of Ship Mate

A Cruise App is Born

Often we’re asked how Ship Mate Cruise App  began – the world’s very first and best mobile cruise application is the mind-baby of founder, Jan Jirout, and inspired by our biennial family reunions. Every two years, the 50-or-so of us cruise the seas and eat, drink, and party with those that are most important to us. We don fluorescent shirts numbered from “01” for Gramps (our family’s ringleader and the reason we’re all together… and born, I suppose) to 50+ for the youngest amongst us.

Gramps Inspiration

How Ship Mate Began

The app was an instant hit in the iTunes store and since its debut you’ve consistently requested more ships, cruise lines, and features. Both Jan and I (Jan’s brother Mike) quit our jobs and are working on the app full-time in attempts to provide you with all of your mobile-cruising-technology needs. We’re currently based in thriving tech community of Venice, CA where we’ve been enlisting the assistance of the brilliant, local talent to take our Ship Mate technology to the next level. The things that we’re doing with the app are going to blow some socks off.

UPDATE: Team Ship Mate took a position with the LA tech incubator program Amplify LA ( and is operating from the Venice, CA office as one of their portfolio companies.

Cruising for a Bruising

A few months prior to our 2010 family adventure on the Oasis of the Seas, Jan thought it would be neat to make an iPhone app to assist in our revelry. Although he majored in Computer Science at Brandeis, Jan’s programming skills were slightly out of touch given his five-year coding hiatus while snowboarding in Montana (there are no computers in Montana). Nevertheless, he picked up an iPhone and an iPhone-programming-manual and managed to put together the base product, complete with ship deck maps and the Contacts feature.

In case you’re curious, here is a look at the old Ship Mate Headquarters (click to enlarge).

Ship Mate Corporate Headquarters

UPDATE:  below is an image of our most current office space.

Amplify LA Office Space

The Ship Mate Cruise Blog was created in attempts to encourage feedback and interaction among our Ship Mates. We appreciate every user and will do anything in our ability to satisfy each of you. If you care to join us as we try to create great things, subscribe to this blog and I’ll do my best to keep you updated with our progress.

7 Replies to “The Birth and Berth of Ship Mate”

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