Sharper Shape Inc., a supplier of drone-based infrastructure and utility asset management solutions, has opened its North American technical and operations center at the University of North Dakota’s (UND) Center for Innovation in Grand Forks.
Sharper Shape says its new location provides the company with a solid foundation and support for future expansion in Grand Forks, as well as immediate access to a network of drone professionals. The company is based in Finland and also has an office in Palto Alto, Calif.
Tero Heinonen, founder and CEO of Sharper Shape, says Grand Forks houses “the highest concentration of broad-range drone expertise and its application in commercial civil applications.”
Sharper Shape is immediately hiring three key personnel in Grand Forks. These roles include airspace safety, utility business development, and drone and sensor manufacturer relations. The company expects to make several additional hires in the next year.
Bruce Gjovig, CEO and entrepreneur coach at the UND Center for Innovation Foundation, states, “Tero and his team join a community of nine drone-related ventures with staff in our tech incubator, plus another 11 ventures that are virtual tenants exploring market opportunities. Our center has become a beachhead for entrepreneurial companies entering the drone market, and we expect many will grow and graduate into Grand Sky, the nation’s first drone technology park.”