"Time is the most valuable aspect in construction. And as long as we can shorten that time and make sure that the structure is built according to the blueprints, that's the added value and that's the problem we're solving."
A Q/A with Tom Yeshrum, CEO and Co-Founder of CivDrone.
Company HQ: Haifa, Israel
Team Size: 6
Focus: Autonomous MARKING Drone for Construction Sites
How would you describe your team?
We are a group of makers that love to build things together and solve problems. We have experience in robotics, drones and of course, our founder's background in the construction industry.
Tell me a little bit more about CivDrone.
We have developed a payload that enables drones to physically put a stake in the soil with precise accuracy. Each stake includes a smart readable tag that is coded in real-time with clear construction instructions readable with any smartphone. Most construction tasks require prior marking. For example, even the stop signs on the streets have to be built in precise locations. CivDrone does the markings onsite instead of having to send people to do this manually every day.
Can you expand a little bit more on what problem you're solving?
Large infrastructure construction sites require thousands of coordinates to be marked every day and this is very time consuming. Without these markings, the general contractor doesn't know where to build. Without these markers it becomes a bottleneck and we can't allow that. Time is the most valuable aspect in construction. And as long as we can shorten that time and make sure that the structure is built according to the blueprints, that's the added value and that's a problem that we're solving. Because, it's everywhere.
Who are your customers?
Our customers are large general contractors and land surveying firms that build new infrastructure projects such as roads, railroads, solar farms, pipelines, oil and gas, which require thousands of markings every day.
What phase is your company at right now?
Today, we have a few prototypes being tested in the field with our strategic partners back in Israel. We are now looking to conduct pilots here in the U.S.
Why are you excited about GENIUS NY?
GENIUS NY is a great landing page for us to the U.S. market and being part of the UAV ecosystem here, taking advantages of the opportunities and what the program has to offer is very important. Being able to meet face-to-face and better understand our clients needs and see how they react to our technology, has given us tremendous value. Doing this whole thing remotely was not working.
What is your first impression of Syracuse?
Overall, the UAV ecosystem here is strong. I've met some other GENIUS NY alumni who have some great insights and I see potential for collaboration with them and other startups and companies in the area.
What have you explored in Syracuse?
I'm kind of like handicapped right now (Tom has a brace on his knee right now from a soccer injury) so I can't be really exploring that much but mostly Armory Square area, restaurants, pubs. Irish pubs are really well established here.
What are you most looking forward to while staying in Syracuse?
Outside of the business aspect, I would like to explore more of the region, get out in nature. As for the business, we would like to really find some early adopters here to try our technology and validate it.
How many drones do you own?
Anywhere between five to ten, it changes all time. I personally own one, but the company has about six right now with two more are being built. But, it's important to note that we're not a drone company; we're developing the technology to allow the drone to place these markings. We install our payload and software on off-the-shelf enterprise drones.
What would you do with the one million grand prize?
With a one million grand prize, we would build more CivDrone units and conduct more pilots simultaneously in different market segments in the region.
To learn more about CivDrone visit www.civdrone.com. Watch them pitch for the $1 Million grand prize on April 9 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. Get your ticket here.