Nebraska Business Development Center
Business Success & Economic Impact
Vol. 3 Issue 9

New business taps into drone technology
Ean Mikale started Infinite 8 Aeronautics/The Drone School sitting at a single desk and has since grown the business to occupy five suites at Commerce Village and employ 11 workers. To date, 30 people have completed the school's instructional programs, and three have gone on to create businesses utilizing the commercial drone technology in applications ranging from sports to security and agriculture.

Mikale utilized a capability statement and other information assembled with  guidance from NBDC consultant Wei Jing to obtain U.S. and Nebraska Departments of Labor contracts for the creation of two apprenticeship programs, one for commercial drone pilots and one for commercial drone software developers.

"The capability statement we developed made us more attractive in the federal contracting space and also enabled us to better navigate that space," he says. "Wei was very helpful in refining our business model." 

Wei JingMPA, CTC, is a technology commercialization consultant and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program manager for the state of Nebraska. She is author of the whitepaper  Five Key Ways to Pitch your Idea to Investors.

Father and son turned love of hunting and fishing into business
Armed with financial projections and advice from NBDC consultant Charlie McPherson, Matt and Larry Eden were able to obtain the necessary funding to open their first business. Matt was a heavy equipment salesman and Larry, his father, was semi-retired from farming and transportation when they decided to act upon an idea they'd been kicking around for more than two years. In October of 2017, t he Edens held the grand opening of their 5,000-square-foot sporting goods store in McCook.

Armadillo Arms features a large selection of firearms and archery supplies, serving as dealer for Glock handguns, as well as Xpedition Archery and Mudhole Custom Fishing Rods. The store also houses a 20-yard shooting range for bows, crossbows and BB guns. Other services include custom rod building and bait sales.

Charlie McPherson, BS, EDFP, business consultant, is the NBDC North Platte/McCook center director. He provides business planning assistance, financial analysis, market research, marketing planning, operations assistance services to small business owners in southwest Nebraska.   

Contact Charlie

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NBDC offers a full suite of business services:
  • Financial projections, planning and loan packaging
  • Market research and analysis
  • Export consulting
  • Technology commercialization consulting
  • Government sales consulting
  • Business valuation and transition planning
  • Project management and leadership training
  • Process improvement and sustainability training
  • Organizational development consulting
    and customized training
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