Startups are dynamic, and flexible, and this makes them ideal for rapidly changing landscapes like the drone space.
If you are wondering how to get your piece of the pie that is the drone industry, and are looking to raise funds for a potential unicorn-valuation startup, here are 5 potential startups you could build:
Drone Shows and Performances
There is a growing interest in using drones as an attraction in and of themselves, rather than as accessories. Drone displays are a budding entertainment niche that has attracted interest and investment from some of the biggest stakeholders including Disney and local governments.
Drone displays make use of multiple drones, flying in a coordinated or programmed manner to entertain and amaze the watching public.
With advances in lighting and camera technology, drones have evolved beyond being mere props for entertainment into being entertainment media themselves.
And if you have the capital or know how to raise it, you can enter this niche as a startup.
A major player in this niche is Disney, who already has a number of drone patents concerning drone performance. They continue to add to their expertise and reputation with the growing number of shows they convene every year which feature drone puppeteers, light shows, and drone projection screens.
Tech companies are not missing a beat. For example, Intel have already produced an entertainment drone dubbed Shooting Star which is specifically meant for light shows. Shooting Star has already been deployed during American Independence Day celebrations and Super Bowl breaks.
As a drone startup, you could quickly make a name for yourself either as a producer of the tech needed for creating drone entertainment shows, or by actually producing the shows yourself.
In other words, you could go either the Intel or the Disney route. Or you could find a third option that works.
What better space to establish a startup than in one that seeks to alter the our way of life and possibly our future as a species?
Passenger drones are garnering a lot of attention, from heavy hitters and fledgling startups alike. This is one of those spaces that are still wide open, without a dominant player that holds all the cards.
Up until now, the general public conjures up images of small-sized flying objects whenever drones are mentioned.
But a lot of aviation manufacturers and drone startups have begun to think bigger, putting in efforts to create viable passenger drones or drone taxis.
Not only will these drone taxis be able to carry human beings from one spot to another, the will be able to do so autonomously.
For now, a Jetsons-like future with autonomous taxis flying over our heads eludes us. But that might not remain the case for long as some of the best and brightest minds, as well the deepest pockets, try to make this dream a reality.
Major players in this space include Boeing, Intel Volocopter, Ehang, Airbus, and Uber. And many large cities around the world that are struggling with crippling traffic jams are queuing up to test out any solutions that come from these companies and startups.
Because they are small, programmable, and versatile in the air, drones have massive potential as a means of delivery. And many businesses and startups are wising up to this fact.
Several companies and startups are gathering resources and putting efforts towards redefining the entire delivery chain in order to increase the efficiency of drone delivery services.
And this is happening in many unrelated fields like health and medicine, food and leisure, postal services, entertainment, among others.
Businesses that have shown interest in drone deliveries, have either been creating their own proprietary technology or partnering with drone delivery startups to have their needs met.
The fact is that some locations are simply too difficult and too costly for humans to deliver to, and drones make for a nice alternative. As a startup you could take advantage of this fact and offer drone delivery services to businesses and organizations that need them.
Top players in this field include Amazon, Zipline, Flytrex, Flirtey, Domino’s Pizza, Uber, and UPS.
Drone Security and Surveillance
There has never been a better time for drones to be incorporated into security solutions. The cost, safety, and time advantages that are acquired with autonomous fleets can add significant value to anyone willing to establish a drone security startup.
Drone patrols augment the capabilities of human guards, security agencies, security directors, risk managers, and other security stakeholders.
Drones can help in a more robust security solution offering better, faster, decision making, more efficient disaster response and management, and remote security operations and capabilities.
Many startups and businesses have recognized these opportunities that drones bring into the security space, and they have mobilized themselves to meet the needs of those who would benefit from these services.
The technology is already available to support a drone security startup, and these include:
- The availability of cloud-based, hardware agnostic software
- The development of reliable, over-the-counter hardware
And these lead to quicker returns because of low capital expenditure and seamless integration between hardware and software.
As the demand for drones keeps climbing, so does the demand for drone insurance. In some areas, this need for drone insurance is even mandated by the aviation authorities.
So, not only is the idea of a drone startup a viable one, it is a necessary one.
The average drone costs a few hundred dollars, while professional devices cost up to a few thousand dollars. Add the cost of accessories and it is not difficult to see why most drone operators see drone insurance providers as indispensable partners.
This need for reliable drone insurance is even more dire for professional drone operators whose services will be hampered if not outright forbidden without it.
Many startups are now offering bespoke insurance solutions to fill the need. Sometimes, these services cost just a few dollars and cover just a single flight, but they are in high demand.