A new Virginia business, Remote Agri Drone LLC, was recently selected as a recipient of a $10,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) seed capital matching grant.

Remote Agri Drone, based in Cedar Bluff in southwest Virginia, offers agricultural spraying services for controlling plant and brush vegetation, as well as services for plant fertilization and soil analysis. Other aerial photography, mapping, surveying and search-and-rescue services are also available.

“Remote Agri Drone’s business model fit perfectly with VCEDA’s emphasis on locating businesses in the emerging technology field in the coalfield region,” says VCEDA’s executive director and general counsel, Jonathan Belcher. “VCEDA added drones as one of our target industries for development in the region in 2015. Remote Agri Drone is among the first of these type businesses to locate in our region, so VCEDA was pleased to provide this assistance to this new small business.”

The company’s founders, Don and Cheryl Nelson, worked with Margie Douglass, director of the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC), to prepare the seed capital matching grant application to VCEDA.

“The VCEDA seed capital matching grant will enable me to purchase another drone and camera bundle to enable us to expand our business further,” says Don Nelson.

Nelson earned his remote pilot license this past spring and has also completed drone technology courses at SWCC, where his wife, Cheryl, works.

The business projects two full-time and two part-time jobs within three years. The company also plans to employ local college students in search of summer jobs.

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