WHERE ARE THE WINNERS TODAY: SKYSPECS / 2014 WINNER

WHERE ARE THE WINNERS TODAY: SKYSPECS / 2014 WINNER

WHERE ARE THE WINNERS?

2014 Accelerate Michigan Grand Prize Winner


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Company Profile:

Founded – 2012
Location – Ann Arbor, MI
Employees – 12
Total Fundraised – $4.3M+
Leadership

  • Danny Ellis, Co-Founder
  • Tom Brady, Co-Founder

SkySpecs is an automated inspection company that has developed software to enable drones to autonomously survey industrial infrastructure and machinery at the click of a button. SkySpecs, a R/GA Techstars company, won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Accelerate Michigan program after previously competing twice –  won the student track in 2012 & did not place in the main track in 2013.

The company originated as means for the two co-founders, Danny Ellis & Tom Brady, to get more hands-on experience as students in the University of Michigan’s aerospace engineering program. Since it was unrealistic to find the space and materials to build a rocket or airplane in the classroom, the pair took to drones.

SkySpecs has undergone many iterations since its founding, and has landed on servicing the $3B+ building & infrastructure inspection market that has relied on building inspectors to manually climb and survey large, dangerous surfaces. Last month, the company unveiled their autonomous inspection product for the wind industry at WindEurope – the world’s largest wind energy event – in Hamburg, Germany, and is confident that 2017 will be a strong year for sales.


Key Learnings:

  • Don’t worry so much about the pitch itself – focus on moving your company forward. If you can show traction, show momentum, show excitement about your company, everything else will fall from there.
  • Establish those connections with other startups in the area, it’s not obvious how it will benefit you now but having that network around you of folks in similar situations works itself out in the long run.

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