Friday, November 20, 2015

News: Ultimate Drone wins £30k investment

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Ultimate Drone has been announced as the first winner of the Y-Accelerator programme, picking up a £30,000 investment to support the commercialisation of a new generation of drone.

Following a successful trade mission, five companies came to the region as part of an intensive mentoring programme with the aim of fast-tracking ideas into high-growth businesses. After receiving initial support from the South Korean Government, they were housed in one of Rotherham's four enterprise centres run by RiDO, the Council's regeneration arm.

The Y-Accelerator has been delivered in partnership by Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO), the University of Sheffield and South Korean trade organisation TRoom, with valuable support from Sheffield Hallam University and numerous public and private sector mentors.

Over 12 weeks, five innovative South Korean start-up teams have benefited from the programme which culminated in an investor pitch day, hosted at leading Rotherham manufacturer, AESSEAL's head office at Templeborough. The teams delivered a seven minute pitch and were questioned by a panel of judges and the audience which included a variety of potential investors and partners.

The judging panel was made up of Gordon Bridge, chairman and group director at AESSEAL Plc, Julie Kenny, chief executive of Pyronix Ltd, and Peter Sorsby, director of corporate banking, Royal Bank of Scotland.

After deliberation and an audience vote, Ultimate Drone was announced as winner, receiving £30k investment from the programme. Ultimate Drone is developing a revolutionary high-powered multi-rotor commercial drone with superior payload capacity, stability and endurance, outperforming existing platforms by a factor of three.

Changkeun Moon, CEO of Ultimate Drone said: "Before participating in the Y-Accelerator programme we developed great technology but we didn't have a business. Now we have a strong business model and the confidence to realise our ambition of achieving a 10% share of the worldwide drone market."

Amanda Parris, RiDO business centres manager said: "All five teams have made significant progress in their short time here. All now have scalable business models and have received strong interest from potential investors or partners in the UK. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such a dedicated group; they have been an inspiration."

Julie Kenny, who is also a commissioner at Rotherham Council, said: "I was impressed by the quality of the pitches; choosing the winner was a close call. I believe all the teams have the ability to develop successful businesses in the UK and I am pleased they have chosen Rotherham as the place to do it."

Y-Accelerator website
RiDO website

Images: RiDO

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