Dronamics didn’t just win our BETAPITCH | Sofia but they also won 100K at Pioneers Festival this year! They’re a Dutch-Bulgarian company developing advanced unmanned Aerial Systems, optimized for heavy payloads and long range… In other words: they build Cargo Drones! We asked them a few questions to get to know a bit about them..
What has happened in the last six months?
We’re building an airplane, which is about as hard as hardware can get, but I’m glad to say we still achieved significant progress in six short months. On the technical side, we completed successful tests of our software using small-scale models (which we also tested in a small airtunnel we had to construct ourselves). We began work on the full-scale prototype and expect to begin testing it later this year. On the business side, we’ve made progress in finding big multinationals who are very interested in our technology. Given that we’re building something that will lower the prices of delivery by air significantly, we present a unique attraction to them. Meanwhile, we were able to grow our team and improve our internal processes. And of course, we won Pioneers Festival out of 1,600 startups from 98 countries and got to the Betapitch finals.
Accelerator or bootstrap? It’s hard to bootstrap a business like ours – we can’t build an airplane nights and weekends from our garage. Luckily, a local accelerator called Eleven backed us and last year we were part of its’ seventh batch.
What are you spending money on? Obviously not on shaving supplies :). We’re deep in the product development stage – we are building our full-scale prototype. We also decided not to shave until we build it so that we get it done faster (we hate having beards).
What tool are you using the most for making you a better startup / getting you through the days? We have a special system we like to call the Traffic-Light system. Red time is the time to figure out how to solve a problem / perform a task / produce a part. Yellow time is the time to prep your work area for execution. Green is the time to execute. Green is the repetitive one, and your goal should be to minimize the occurrences of Red and Yellow time, and reduce the length of Yellow and Green time.
Who are you looking up to?
The usual suspects:
Fred Smith – Founder of FedEx – because he created a new paradigm in shipping (next-day delivery), which we aim to further disrupt (making same-day delivery possible).
Richard Branson – because of his love for risks (and aviation).
Bill Gates – because he is heavily involved with transforming the lives of billions in the developing world, and we hope one day our airplanes are seen as equally transformative for remote and underserved communities.
Warren Buffet – because, like Bill Gates, he is involved with helping the underserved, but also because his view on investment is management-centric and we want to build not just a great product, but also a great company.
And of course – Elon Musk and Peter Thiel – for not stopping to build and innovate and for daring to go against conventional wisdom and come out as winners time and time again.