Never too young to succeed
Never too young to succeed
Have you ever thought of starting a business that would combine an interest or passion you had with a plan that would address important social issues? Many of us have had great ideas but, along the way, have found that the follow-through in becoming an entrepreneur can be very difficult. Many excellent plans simply never develop to see the light of day. We recently met a young man who was inspired and went on to successfully start his own business. And on top of that, he’s a lot younger than you might think. Here’s his success story.
Jonathon (Wesley Hawke) Weiss, from Eldora, Iowa, just turned 16 and owns Jonnyuav, an online store with a storefront in north central Iowa. His company produces launching and landing pads and other specialized products for the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone hobby industry. Jonathon has been working with drones and UAVS in search and rescue, homeland security, emergency management, and first-responder safety for more than two years now. Inspired by his father, a homeland-security consultant who worked on some of the early drone prototypes, Jonathon started designing elevated drone workstations and launch platforms to help support these kinds of drones.
Using drones in emergency situations can expose the aircraft to a lot of dust, debris, moisture, and even snow—all of which can cause corrosion, ruining expensive equipment. After a while, Jonathon tried an elevated platform, which not only keeps the drone away from the elements but also helps prevent operators from having to kneel in mud or wet grass or from hurting their backs while bending over. Also, having a stable, elevated takeoff and landing platform helps eliminate the risks of injury caused by hand launches and grab recoveries at the end of a flight.
These accessories were well received, and Jonathon’s parents encouraged him to create the company in 2016. A promising startup, Jonnyuav provides drone safety options and solutions for all kinds of drone pilots. Jonathon says he wants to see everyone flying by the rules but also having fun. His own interest in drones came about with his involvement with his father, who started to integrate UAVS into his response unit more than five years ago. During that time, Jonathon began to learn not only how to fly but also how to repair, design, and build UAVS and drones. Like other kids, his first personal drone was an inexpensive toy that he received as a Christmas gift. But his true passion came from his involvement in flying the UAVS his father’s team used during search and rescues and disaster-response missions.
After the company got started, Jonathon soon managed to acquire a distributorship and began selling drones, making Jonnyuav a one-stop shop for all types of UAV customers. While his goal is to work in the homeland-security field, being the owner of a successful business has been a great opportunity for him to improve his management skills.
Jonnyuav’s mission is to produce safer skies, educate UAV pilots, and help prevent drone-related injuries. Jonathon says, “We want the public to fly by the books and follow the rules, but also have fun and enjoy the super power of flight. We want to see agencies, emergency management, law enforcement, and other organizations increase the use of UAVS to save man hours and help save lives.” Jonathon has shown that he has what it takes to be a successful drone and UAV entrepreneur.
HAVING A STABLE, ELEVATED TAKEOFF AND LANDING PLATFORM HELPS ELIMINATE THE RISKS OF INJURY CAUSED BY HAND LAUNCHES AND GRAB RECOVERIES AT THE END OF A FLIGHT.
With connections made from his father’s involvement with first responders, Jonathon has a lot of experience and resources to build on.
These illustrations indicate the danger zones of operating drones. Using an elevated platform increases operator safety.
The work platform is ideal for sport as well as commercial drone operations. The platform is adjustable for different work heights, and is large enough to be used with large camera-equipped commercial drones.