Another drone start-up has successfully secured a big investment – not to mention, airtime to millions of viewers – via ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
On Friday night’s episode, 26-year-old Abby Speicher, founder and CEO of DartDrones, made an impressive pitch to the team of “sharks”/entrepreneurs for an investment in her Scranton, Pa.-based drone training company.
Following her pitch and a hands-on DJI drone demo with Robert Herjavec, Speicher secured from billionaire Mark Cuban exactly what she was asking for: $300,000 for a 10% stake in the company. In 2015, drone company xCraft also secured a $1.5 million investment on the show.
DARTdrones provides unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flight training, consultancy services, Federal Aviation Administration exam preparation, and UAS program development. Founded in 2014, the company offers custom, on-site instruction, as well as regularly scheduled training in 40-plus U.S. cities. DartDrones recently partnered with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to offer AOPA members free and discounted drone training courses.
“The chance to pitch DARTdrones to the Sharks is a huge honor,” Speicher says in a press release. “Most experts agree that drones are set to drastically improve efficiency and cost-savings across dozens of industries. Overcoming the complexity of launching an internal drone program is a common barrier for organizations. The mission of DARTdrones is to help organizations safely and efficiently implement a drone program through training and consultation.”
DartDrones plans to use the funding to accelerate the development of corporate and public-sector offerings and continue to expand its team.
The entire Shark Tank episode can be watched here. Congrats to Abby and the DartDrones team!