Virgin StartUp of the Week: DroneX
Marcin Bogdanski is the MD of DroneX, a Bristol-based company that creates custom drones for a variety of purposes - whether that's aerial photography, surveying, or more. Because the drones are customised, they can meet any need, putting them ahead of the competition. DroneX are supported by our delivery partners Business West.
We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on Virginstartup.org each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson? Please answer the questions below, keeping each answer to five sentences max.
Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does
DroneX develops, builds and operates Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or just drones) and related technologies for commercial and scientific customers. We specialise in building custom made systems. We also provide training and technical support to UAV operators in the UK.
Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?
We are based in Bristol and we cover the South West.
Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?
Our main revenue comes from building custom UAVs. We also get money from providing repairs, upgrades, technical support and training.
Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?
There are very few manufacturers providing custom-made solutions. The closest one is Coptercraft, located outside London.
Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?
We have over 10 years experience in advanced robotic systems. We use the latest UAV technologies to tailor and optimise our drones exactly to our customers' needs. Because of this, our customers can get ahead of their competition, as they're using stock drones.
Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?
The idea was born about 2-3 years ago when commercial drones were just showing up. We always wanted to help adopt new technologies for wider use.
Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?
Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?
DroneX, while very strong on technical expertise, was lacking in marketing and business development. Funding allowed us to hire marketing and salespeople. Since then, our customer base has been growing rapidly.
Floor 8 to 9 – What’s your workspace like? Send us a photo from your phone
We are based at Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), one of the largest robotics research institutes in Europe. BRL kindly licensed us space in their Technology Business Incubator as part of their ongoing support for high tech start-ups.
Floor 9 to 10 – where will your business be in 12 months' time?
We would like to have an established customer base in the South West. When our capacity grows, the next stage will be to design and develop our own drones for large-scale manufacturing.