The Manta5 Hydrofoiler™ has just won ‘Gold’ in the prestigious Best Awards, thanks in part to seven Waikato Alumni.
The Manta5 Hydrofoiler™ is the brain-child of Guy Howard-Willis – Founder of Torpedo7 and 1-day.co.nz – which has been brought to life by Roland Alonzo, an accomplished bicycle designer with a passion for cutting-edge technology and design. Roland and the Manta5 design team have cleverly used hydrofoil and e-bike technology, coupled with a propeller to allow riders to plane on top of the water’s surface. The user can also relaunch the hydrofoil bike from deep water – a world-first!
Greg Johnston, a Waikato Management School Alumni, joined the Manta5 team in 2016, and progressed into the role of General Manager. Since starting with Manta5, Greg has employed another six alumni to fill various roles in electronic engineering, supply chain, operations, marketing and events.
“Building a team of alumni through my networks at uni has been really rewarding. I love backing young, talented people, and I’m passionate about teaming them up with leaders in their respective industries”
Greg Johnston, Manta5 CEO, WMS Alumni
The company will be revealing the first production model – The Manta5 Hydrofoiler™ XE-1 – for the first time at Big Boys Toys this November, with the intention of releasing a limited-run presale production during summer.
The University of Waikato alumni are proud to be staying true to the grassroots, kiwi-ingenuity, values that drove them to complete their degrees. They’re also pretty stoked to be part of a world-first in commercialising hydrofoil bikes.
“Developing a hydrofoil bike has been a rewarding, yet extremely challenging journey, requiring highly technical capabilities to overcome design challenges… our Waikato alumni have come on board and made a brilliant contribution – it’s refreshing to have such young, sharp minds involved”
Guy Howard-Willis, Founder of Manta5
The alumni that have been involved in Manta5’s journey include: Greg Johnston (BMS Hons), Louis Wilks (BMS), Daniel Dredge (BE Hons, current Masters student), Harrisson Jull (BE Hons, current PHD student), Samaria Mason (BMS Hons), Randal Meijerink (BMS Hons), Jeanna Sayson (BMS Hons). Five of these alumni are still currently employed, as Manta5 gears up for product release and a pilot production run later this year.
Check out this video of the award winning prototype here: