The Kenyan Drone Business Competition 2022 (KDBC) sought to nurture creativity and hone entrepreneurial skills among Kenya-based early-stage technology entrepreneurs interested in drones and drone technology. This competition was successfully planned in coordination with the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), Global Air Drone Academy (GADA), Kenya Flying Labs, and Blue Globe Innovation.
Applications for the competition were closed on the 13th of January. We received an impressive 187 applicants from upcoming entrepreneurs. This is evidence that much interest is brewing in Kenya’s drone industry.
After careful selection, we selected 25 entrepreneurs out of the 187 applicants. They participated in a five-day virtual boot camp where they had the opportunity to create and pitch their drone business idea while learning about the drone industry from experienced drone professionals at The Global Air Drone Academy (GADA).
This comprehensive training taught entrepreneurs how to relate this new technology to real-world practical solutions, create and pitch a business idea, safely operate and fly a drone, and the best ways to market their startup in 2022 and beyond.
The participants went through in-depth training focusing on drone regulations and industry trends in Kenya, the outlook and opportunities of drones in Africa by experts from Kenya Flying Labs and GADA. Different drone practitioners graced us from Zimbabwe. Tawanda J Chihambakwe, Director of Precision Aerial Group and Coordinator Zambia Flying Labs, and Andi Fisanich from Wingcopter talked about commercial drone usage and drone delivery in Africa and opportunities for expansion in Malawi.
A key lesson taught to the finalists was the Art of the business pitch, an activity that involved them in preparing their business plans for their drone business ideas. After creating drafts, participants were allowed to present their final pitches.
After the virtual boot camp, judges selected ten finalists invited to Nairobi to participate in a 2-Day practical training. On day one, finalists experienced hands-on training on drone technology, and on day two, they pitched their drone business idea live to a panel of judges. As a result, three winners were selected to win the KDBC 2022 prize.
The Top 3 Winners of the KDBC won a scholarship from Drone Space Kenya, a small drone, and business coaching to launch their new business as part of Kenya Flying Lab’s drone business accelerator program, which includes access and training on other drone platforms and sensors from Kenya Flying Labs depending on winners final submission and use cases requirements.
The US Embassy in Nairobi graciously supported Kenya Drone Business Competition (KDBC) through Global Drone Air Academy (GADA). GADA collaborated with Kenya Flying Labs as a local KCAA Remote Operator Certificate holder as their implementing partner, Blue Globe Innovation and Drone Space, an approved RPAS Training School in Kenya.