"All drones today are based around the principle that drones fly the camera. We built Vermeer so the camera actually flies the drone."
A Q/A with Brian Streem, CEO and Co-Founder of Vermeer.
Company HQ: Brooklyn, NY
Team Size: 4
Focus: Augmented Reality Drone Solution
How would you describe your team?
We’re interested in art and technology and the intersection of those things. We try to find people similar but with different disciplines. We currently have a CTO, a UX designer, software developer, and director of marketing.
Tell me a little bit more about Vermeer.
Vermeer is designed for people who want to create high-end drone photo and video but don’t own a drone and don’t want to buy one.
Using augmented reality (AR), the user pulls up a 3D map of a real world location of where they want drone footage. Their phone’s screen becomes what the camera of the drone sees. The user moves their phone around this 3D model, in AR, and they’re able to record, pre-visualize, and edit this flight or camera path. When they are satisfied with it they save the shot and send it to network of drone operators who load the shot onto any DJI drone and deploy it to get the job done.
Vermeer is designed around this idea that people don’t want to fly a drone, they just want to move a camera around the sky. Our product is based around the principle that instead of learning to fly a drone, you can just use augmented reality and point a camera at a miniature 3D model of the world and then the drone will go to that location to get the shot you desire.
Can you expand a little bit more on what problem you're solving?
Drones are too damn hard to fly and there is a lot of training that goes into it. There is also a lot of friction of what the client wants to achieve and how to appropriately tell that to the camera operator and/or drone pilot. We remove all that friction so the customer knows what they are getting, without ever having to discuss it with a drone pilot or cameraman. In addition, because the drone flight is automated based off of what the customer designs in AR, we can guarantee quality.
Who are your customers?
The media, real estate marketing, and entertainment space (news, movies, TV shows, live events). The prosumer market and anybody that owns a DJI drone is our secondary customer. Turner Broadcasting has been a customer as well as some larger production companies in NYC.
What phase is your company at right now?
We have a few enterprise customers who have used a pro version of the app, and we are getting ready to launch a prosumer version to the web soon. The app will be webAR based - which is a brand new technology that allows AR experiences right in a browser, so anyone on ios or android can access and create their own custom drone shots.
Why are you excited about GENIUS NY?
It’s a great opportunity for me and my company to finish building our technology and penetrate the market. The investment is always nice but there’s also a great pool of talent here that I hope to tap into. It’s also nice to get out of NYC, I’ve been there for 13 years.
What is your first impression of Syracuse?
Well, Kubal Coffee is great! Syracuse seems like a tight knit community, a lot of people know each other, definitely different than Brooklyn. Wegmanns was also unbelievable. The scooping bar with candy and nuts blew my mind. I've never seen so many versions of trail mix in my life.
What would you do with the one million grand prize?
We need to invest money in marketing, gain market share and expand to new geographies. We need to start hiring sales and business development talent to accelerate and gain new customers while continuously developing our product.
To learn more about Vermeer visit www.getvermeer.com. Watch them pitch for the $1 Million grand prize on April 9 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. Get your tickets here.