Hoverport originally started as Hoverfly, a drone marketplace platform between drone pilots and commercial companies that want to use drones. Hoverfly was selected as a finalist out of 233 applications in the AppItUp Entrepreneurship Competition organized by PCI Ventures. The competition was open to all faculty, undergraduate and graduate students of the University of Pennsylvania. I was the only undergraduate to become a finalist in the whole competition.
While doing customer discovery and preparing for the final demo day, I realized the problems with the business model at the time and found a more valuable and niche market opportunity, and through a magnificent pivot Hoverfly became Hoverport. The video above is the pitch I gave for Hoverfly at the AppItUp Semi-Finals.
Here’s a look at what our platform will look like to our end-users. While the drones are continuing the survey process, the data is simultaneously transmitted via a separate frequency to a central database integrated into the GIS (Geographic Information System). Our customers are able to monitor the complete flight path of the drone, and see a 2D (and in the future 3D) heatmap of the RF bands they have commissioned all within a simple and intuitive dashboard that allows them to see other surveys right alongside.
In April 2017, I became a finalist with Hoverport at Penn Center for Innovation’s AppItUp Competition and I was offered a place among the PCI Ventures portfolio. After the competition, Hoverport was featured among Philly Tech Week’s brightest ideas on Philly.com.
Towards the end of 2017, in December, I entered the Princeton Envision Entrepreneurship Competition and was selected as a finalist out of 75 ideas. At the Envision Conference I pitched to an audience of 200+ people interested in frontier technologies and 4 industry judges. I’m proud to say that I took home the 1st place prize with another brilliant idea called FacePrint.