IU Invests in Drone TechnologyPosted: Updated:
Indiana University's investment fund hopes its support of a company developing unmanned drone technologies will lead to increased research and commercialization opportunities. The Innovate Indiana Fund and Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHT) Co-Founder Bob Young are leading an early-stage investment round for Indianapolis-based PrecisionHawk, which specializes in unmanned aerial systems and remote sensing. The company says it will use the undisclosed investment to add talent and support potential opportunities in Indiana in areas including agriculture. In addition to IU, Precision Hawk anticipates partnerships with Indiana State University and Purdue University.
August 14, 2013
Indianapolis, Ind. -- Unmanned aerial systems and remote sensing company, PrecisionHawk, today announced the closing of an Angel investment round carried by Bob Young, co-founder of open-source software company Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHT,) and Innovate Indiana, the investment fund of Indiana University. The funding will give PrecisionHawk the capability to expand to meet the growing demand for unmanned aerial vehicles and aerial imaging data services in the civilian space in the US as well as abroad.
"Affordable, robust UAV and data services will drive accessibility to this new technology that has the potential to solve problems in a number of important areas,” said Bob Young, founder of Red Hat. "I love businesses that allow others to innovate, and now companies, individuals and universities will have the ability to monetize their intellectual property in a whole new way."
PrecisionHawk's durable UAV platform, the Lancaster Hawkeye Mk III, provides users with fast and accurate data acquisition that is then processed and delivered to clients in relevant and usable formats. Over ten plug and play sensors are currently integrated into the platform for data collection including visual, multispectral, thermal, video and LIDAR. The ease with which PrecisionHawk is able to integrate sensors into the hardware allows for unmatched flexibility based on client need.
"The ability to gather aerial data with increasingly powerful sensors, at more frequent intervals, with far better resolution, gives us an opportunity to provide the market with technology that is truly disruptive," said Christopher Dean, PrecisionHawk founder.
The company has developed strong strategic relationships in the research, agriculture, geology and infrastructure spaces. The current partnership with Indiana University will assist with research and data collection for the university’s Department of Geology. The easy to use, cost effective and extremely accurate nature of the platform makes PrecisionHawk an ideal investment in a state where UAVs have the potential to make a large impact in coming years
"We believe that PrecisionHawk is a pioneer in the field of data evaluation and robotics," said Ken Green, Managing Director for Innovate Indiana. "This investment offers us a unique opportunity to commercialize the research we do at Indiana University in two areas that are key to Indiana’s economy, agriculture and geology."
PrecisionHawk currently runs commercial operations out of Toronto, where it has been awarded a Special Flight Operations Certificate by Transport Canada. Its team of aerospace, software and big data GIS engineers are located in US offices based out of Indianapolis, Ind. and Raleigh, N.C.
"PrecisionHawk has, without a doubt, developed as a major presence in the space of unmanned systems," said PrecisionHawk President, Dr. Ernest Earon. "The financial support from Bob Young, who is a pioneer in open source Linux, and Indiana University, a group dedicated to the growth of resources assisting in research and technology, will allow us to continue our lead as the best data collection UAV and aerial collection service on the market."
About Precision Hawk:
Precision Hawk is a civil unmanned aerial systems and remote sensing company founded in 2010 in Toronto, Canada under the name WineHawk Labs. The company’s focus is on gathering the most precise and complete data and information to provide usable and easy to understand data. The team is comprised of professionals in the United States and Canada with backgrounds in remote sensing, unmanned aircraft operations, software development, data processing and GIS systems development. The company operates out of offices in Indianapolis, Ind., Raleigh, N.C. and Toronto, Ont. For more information, go to: www.precisionhawk.com. Visit on Twitter @PrecisionHawk.
About Innovate Indiana:
The Innovate Indiana Fund has been established to invest in companies with a meaningful connection to Indiana University and to help those companies achieve commercial success. The fund helps the companies in its portfolio reach a variety of commercial goals using a wide array of tools including, infusions of capital, recruitment of management or additional expertise, market research, next-stage capital and our extensive network of experts in the public and private sector.
About Bob Young:
Bob Young is best known as the co-founder of Red Hat, the open-source software company that gives hardware and software vendors a standard platform on which to certify their technology. Red Hat is a Fortune 500 company and chief rival to Microsoft. Young’s success at Red Hat won him industry accolades, including nomination as one of Business Week's "Top Entrepreneurs" in 1999.