The Profile of a Founder collection is an unique interview collection highlighting founders of tech startups which have been acknowledged by the Tribune’s flagship article collection “The Greatest Tech Startups.” Vigilant Aerospace is honored to have been featured in each the 2020 Best Tech Startups in Oklahoma City and 2020 Best Tech Startups in Oklahoma.
From the article:
Profile of a Founder: Kraettli L. Epperson of Vigilant Aerospace Methods
Inform us the origin story of Vigilant Aerospace Methods – what drawback had been you attempting to unravel and why?
Vigilant Aerospace was based to assist resolve the issue of integrating drones into the US nationwide airspace alongside different plane. The corporate solely licensed a NASA patent and used that expertise to develop our FlightHorizon product. FlightHorizon helps to unlock the total financial potential of business drones by successfully and affordably holding drones a secure distance from manned plane, that are required to fly past the line-of-sight of the pilot. This course of known as “detect-and-avoid” and our software program takes information from a number of sensors and regularly fuses it into an general image of the airspace to permit pilots to fly safely. Our product can be used for airspace administration by drone applications and amenities like droneports. We’re targeted on filling a key technical hole within the business and all of our time and sources are targeted on fixing this one important drawback.
What was the most important hurdle you encountered in your journey?
As an organization offering a product on the frontier of aerospace innovation, we’ve needed to modify to quickly evolving rules and technical requirements, which may change the business virtually in a single day. That may be difficult, but it surely additionally creates a variety of alternative for small, agile corporations.
What does the longer term maintain for Vigilant Aerospace Methods?
We count on vital development over the subsequent two to 4 years. Our software program is presently utilized in a number of NASA and FAA flight analysis applications and we’re more and more rolling the software program out to industrial applications and amenities. We all know that the FAA and others are forecasting huge development in the usage of industrial drones for issues like pipeline, storage tank, photo voltaic panel, wind turbine, and bridge inspections. Package deal supply by drone is tremendously wanted and in speedy improvement proper now. Additionally, the potential for air taxis is receiving rising consideration and improvement. All of those purposes require secure past visible line-of-sight flight, so we predict the prospects for the product and firm are very vivid.
What are your ideas on the native tech startup scene in Oklahoma Metropolis?
I’m a serial entrepreneur who has based tech startups and funding funds in a number of cities, together with Oklahoma Metropolis, Houston, Dallas, and London.
Oklahoma Metropolis is a type of cities that’s sufficiently big to have an amazing nationwide profile and all one of the best facilities, however sufficiently small to really feel like a hometown neighborhood. As an added bonus, you gained’t usually get caught in visitors for hours simply going throughout city. Being the right measurement is very true for the tech startup neighborhood. The startup neighborhood in Oklahoma Metropolis is smaller and extra tight-knit in comparison with a lot bigger cities. In case you grasp round lengthy sufficient, you’re going to get to know all people and have the ability to discover sources rapidly. Your status is essential in a comparatively smaller neighborhood. And, for those who give again to the neighborhood regularly by means of mentoring, investing, co-founding, and usually supporting startups, you’ll be able to actually see the influence.
Concerning recruiting and fundraising, once you launch a tech startup in a mid-sized US metropolis, you can see a variety of native help, however you additionally shouldn’t be shocked or nervous when you have to increase cash and rent expertise exterior of your explicit metropolis or state. Simply roll with it. Be happy with your roots, however don’t get caught. We dwell in a linked world and good capital, good enterprise concepts, gifted folks, and nice alternatives exist all over the place. Hold your roots, however develop all over the place. Within the case of Vigilant Aerospace, the vast majority of funding has come from Oklahoma buyers, however a big quantity has additionally come from each the East and West coasts, and from Texas.
Lastly, for buyers, startups in cities like Oklahoma Metropolis may be particularly enticing as a result of the valuations are typically extra sustainable and the price of operations could be a lot decrease, giving the startup extra time and runway to launch one thing nice. This has positively helped probably the most profitable startups which have launched from Oklahoma Metropolis, together with Vigilant Aerospace.
What’s your greatest recommendation for aspiring entrepreneurs?
My most vital piece of recommendation for aspiring entrepreneurs is to discover a large drawback that lots of people or companies have and that wants a right away resolution, after which deal with offering as a lot of the answer as you’ll be able to, proper now. Give attention to what folks want at present after which construct from there, relatively than selecting one thing speculative and hoping that the patrons catch as much as your inspiration. Large bushy issues do require time and funding to unravel, however begin small and construct incrementally. Don’t attempt to deal with the entire drawback in a single day. Select a smaller piece that wants an answer now and resolve that. As you construct belief within the market and achieve status and expertise, the larger issues and the larger alternatives will come to you.
View the total profile from The Tech Tribune right here: “Profile of a Founder: Kraettli L. Epperson of Vigilant Aerospace Systems”
About The Tech Tribune & the Greatest Tech Startups Sequence
From the web site:
Based in 2017, The Tech Tribune delivers the most recent expertise information, in-depth expertise articles, and insights on the most popular expertise startups all around the world. In partnership with Crunchbase, our flagship journalistic endeavor is our Greatest Tech Startups collection that we publish for each main metropolis and state within the US, and for the US as an entire, yearly. Our mission is to acknowledge and honor probably the most exemplary younger corporations all throughout the nation, corporations that too typically don’t get a properly deserved flip within the highlight. For extra info, go to http://TheTechTribune.com.