Around the world, business accelerator programs are available to aid budding commercial drone companies. Offering business training, mentorship, networking opportunities, and much-needed funding, these programs are critical to the future of our industry.

Here’s a look at some recent news concerning commercial drone industry accelerator programs:

  • MassRobotics Accelerator Picks 10 Startups: Robotics 88, a company that uses UAVs to help land managers reduce wildfire risk, was among the ten startups selected by MassRobotics to take part in its first-ever equity-free accelerator. The three-month program, according to MassRobotics, “will teach the startups about customer discovery, value proposition discovery, manufacturing for excellence, fundraising tactics, team management, and more.” Each selected company received a $100,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech).

  • GENIUS NY Funds UAS Innovators: Last October, five UAS-related companies “pitched” their innovations to a panel of judges as part of a competition hosted by GENIUS NY, “the world’s largest UAS accelerator.” The grand prize winner was blueflite, which won $1 million for its “all-electrical drone design has vertical take-off and landing capabilities, advanced maneuverability … built to meet the rigorous demands of commercial operations.” The four other finalists - Aloft, GreenjetsVoltela, and VOTIX – each received $500,000.

  • Oregon UAS Accelerator Helps Local Startups: In February of this year, Business Oregon awarded a grant of $2.25 million to the Oregon UAS Accelerator. With the money, the Accelerator will “take applications to become innovators, mentors, or investors in the state’s only Center of Innovation Excellence dedicated exclusively to autonomous systems and robotics.” Grants of up to $40,000 will be given to “help small- and mid-sized startups, working individually or collaboratively, to commercialize their innovations.” In addition, grant recipients will receive access to work facilities along with UAS training and “onsite coaching from the Pendleton UAS Test Range’s experienced team of flight test professionals.”

  • Utility Drone Maker Recognized by MassChallenge Israel: McFly, a developer of portable utility drones for logistics, energy, infrastructure, and security needs, was one of seven winners in year’s MassChallenge Israel core accelerator program. A four-month intensive program, MassChallenge Israel “helps entrepreneurs advance their nascent companies.”