Financial

Consider crowdfunding to benefit from customer investor insight, says research

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Entrepreneurs and start-up businesses across sectors have been urged to consider crowdfunding websites to fund their new companies, rather than just relying on traditional investors or venture capitalists. New research into crowdfunding from the UCL School of Management claims that listening to investors at the start of a new business ‘can make the difference between success and failure’. Former PhD student Philipp Cornelius, who is now an assistant professor at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and associate professor Bilal Gokpinar from the UCL School of Management, found that entrepreneurs that used online crowdfunding to raise capital benefited from the
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DJI opens new authorised retail store

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DJI has opened a new authorised retail store in Troy, Michigan. The new site is located in Oakland County, a place known for its tech driven retail businesses. According to a report from Crain’s Detroit Business, an official grand opening is planned for this Saturday after the store quietly opened its doors earlier in the month. The report goes on to detail how the unique store features a 10 feet tall ‘fly cage’ which aims to give people the chance to test DJI products before making a purchase. Fred Kandah, who opened Excel Drones in Garden City in 2015, invested
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West-Lothian groundworks firm buys GPS drone to help with on-site work

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West Lothian building firm Mullholland Contracts has bought a GPS-enabled drone to help with day to day on-site work. The groundworks, surfacing and utility contractor will use the drone to monitor site progress and generate models and maps for its clients. According to a report from Insider, the company has acquired a full drone pilot certification from the Civil Aviation Authority as well. The report goes on to describe that the DJI Inspire 2 will be used to assist with the monitoring of earthworks, the tracking of site progress, and the generation of up-to-date maps for clients. Finance director at
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DJI announces global rollout of its Phantom 4 RTK

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DJI has announced the global rollout of the Phantom 4 RTK, its high-precision aerial survey drone. The Phantom 4 RTK combines centimetre-level navigation and positioning with a high-performance imaging system. The combination of both systems in the device aims to improve survey efficiency and accuracy while reducing operational difficulty and cost. Sunny Liao, director of enterprise, Europe at DJI, is looking forward to seeing drone pilots across the globe using the new technology, he said: “The Phantom 4 RTK was engineered to meet the specific needs of its users who have come to rely on DJI drones as powerful tools
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Startup launches crowdfunding campaign to change drone pilot gender gap

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US-based start-up Women who drone (WWD) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help build and grow its global influence. The company wants to change the fact that less than 4% of certified drone pilots worldwide are female. Company founder and CEO, Elena Buenrostro, started the company on the back of support she received following drone footage she captured while on holiday. Since its beginning Women who drone has grown and now has brand ambassadors across the globe with the aim to inspire, educate and empower more women to learn to fly drones, obtain licenses, and join the drone industry. WWD
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New late payment lifeline could help small drone businesses

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Small drone businesses challenged by late payments from larger firms could wave goodbye to the problem in the future after new measures were introduced last week to tackle the issue across UK industries. The new proposals include a call for evidence to consider the best way company boards can put in place responsible payment practices throughout their supply chain. They also suggest promoting technology, such as accounting software, to help small firms manage their payments processes, and empowering trade bodies to highlight the best and worst practices in payment behaviour. Nearly a quarter of UK businesses report that late payments
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China to make its largest ever drone export in Pakistan deal

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China has agreed an export deal with Pakistan to send a batch of military-grade drones to the country. The agreement comes just days after Russia and India signed a multi-billion pound arms deal, in what has been described as anti-US 'sabre rattling'. According to a report from the Express, the advanced military drone to be shipped out to Pakistan will be the 48 Wing Loong II UCAV. The UCAV is a recon and strike multirole endurance drone which is more than eight metres long, four metres tall and has a wingspan of 18 metres. The report goes on to describe
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Drone Safe Register member saves local authority over £4m

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DSR member Neil Mowbray and his company, Viewpoint Film, has saved a local authority in Scotland £4.5m with its drone work. The company has been working alongside the council to provide aerial inspection to over 600 properties in the local area. According to a report by Drone Safe Register (DSR), the work forms part of a larger scale program to upgrade all of the housing to bring them into line with Home Energy Efficiency Programmes and the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. The company uses UAVs to replace more traditional methods such as scaffolding and mobile elevated platform, a process which
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US Air Force awards almost £10m UAS contract to AeroVironment

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AeroVironment has announced the US Airforce awarded the company a $13m (£9.95m) unmanned aircraft systems contract. The deal is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for RQ-11B Raven UAS to support Latin American and Caribbean nations. The US Government fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance funds of $2.8m were committed at the time of the award. The Raven hand-launched small UAS, will be deployed in the US Southern Command Area of Responsibility, which includes Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Kirk Flittie, vice president and general manager of AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business, said: “Raven revolutionised the battlefield with instant eyes
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Kittyhawk secures £2.3m worth of funding to accelerate commercial drone operations

Kittyhawk, a drone operations software company, has secured $3m (£2.3m) worth of new funding from The Travelers Companies. The investment will go towards an accelerated effort towards commercial drone operations. This announcement follows its $5m funding round in June led by Bonfire Ventures in participation with by Boeing HorizonX Ventures. Uniquely, Travelers is an existing Kittyhawk customer and, since 2016, has used Kittyhawk’s software to become the nation’s largest insurance drone fleet operator, with over 600 drone operators. The additional funding will help Travelers improve inspections for daily claims and natural disasters, and ensure Kittyhawk will continue to unify the
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