Abby Speicher hopes to fly away with an investment when she pitches DartDrones, her flight school for drone pilots, in Shark Tank episode 818. The business teaches wanna-be drone pilots how to fly with online and in-person classes nationwide. New FAA regulations require pilots to pass a 60 question test to become a certified commercial drone pilot.
Speicher, who started her first business at age 17, knows drones have a big future. Many large companies, like Amazon and Google, are looking to use drones as part of their fulfillment operations. There are many opportunities for drone-based businesses in real estate, construction, photography and emergency services. People who want to pursue businesses and careers with drones will need the FAA certification, called “Part 107,” to conduct their business.
Classes by DartDrones focus on how to fly, test preparation, starting a drone based business, aerial photography, emergency services and more. People can take classes in person all across the USA and online. There are corporate and group rate packages, too. Courses range from $300 to several thousand dollars.
Speicher likely wants a Shark's help expanding her reach and growing her course load. Will a Shark want to fly with this business?
DartDrones Shark Tank Recap
Abby enters seeking $300,000 for 10% of her business. She explains her business and its plans for growth. Robert asks to fly the demo drone and fails. With some verbal encouragement, he tries again and manages to get it in the air and land it, but it wasn't a perfect flight. Kevin asks how long it takes to learn to fly and she says their $00, one day course can teach basic skills. More advanced skills take more time.
So far, they've done $520,000 in sales over 18 months. They are on track to do between $900,000 and $1.3 million this year. Abby is sinking all the profits back into the business to build new curriculum; this is what she'd use the Shark investment for. So far, they are the only national drone training company. Abby wants to license the curriculum to schools and colleges; Mark likes that idea. She tells Daymond she partners with hobby shops and offers them an affiliate fee to promote her courses.
Kevin starts the bidding at $300,000 for 15%. Mark follows with an offer of $300,000 for 10%, but he wants an answer right away. Abby accepts immediately.
DartDrones Shark Tank Update
The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. It is unclear whether the deal with Mark closed as Dart Drones isn't listed on his website.
Since airing, the company has grown to offer classes in over 40 cities nationwide. They offer many more course now including night flight, roof inspections and many more. They continue to train police and fire officials and even work with the NTSB.