ISSUED: 12 December 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — A Shepherd University business major will be in the final round of the West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition. William James Renner, a business administration major from Purcellville, Virginia, is a finalist in the STEM category with his business, Loudoun Aerial Solutions, LLC.
The company provides photography, orthomosaic mapping, 3-D modeling, and inspection services through the use of drones.
“The industry is new and exponentially growing right before our eyes,” Renner said. “Prior to 2016, there was very little opportunity for a drone business, but after the Part 107 regulations by the FAA to license pilots were released, the opportunities are endless. I was recently looking at a study for the competition that was done by Goldman Sachs. It said that by 2020 there’s going to be a $100 billion drone industry, so I’m trying to get a slice of that.”
Renner started the business in his hometown, but is moving it to Shepherdstown. Currently he has a fleet of seven drones. To prepare for the finals in the business competition, he has to submit a business plan of about 40 pages.
“I have a lot of research to do and calculations to make for future revenue, things that I didn’t look into when I first started the business,” Renner said. “I have to really plan hard the direction I want to go into. I’m learning more than I thought I possibly could in a semester.”
The West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition is hosted by the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The finals will take place April 12, 2019, at the High Technology Consortium in Fairmont.
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