companies and trainees work together on a drone business case

CASES 2020

In the Business Architect programme, students learn to turn a concrete drone idea of a company into a business plan and innovation dossier. Below you will find an overview of the drone cases of the academic year 19-20. If you would also like help with the development of your idea, do not hesitate and submit your idea today.


Have your business case worked out by our students

A class of drone business architects is ready to turn your brilliant ideas into a concrete plan for the future! Together they will find an answer to the key questions that serve as building blocks for your business model canvas. They take the time to think about the products your company offers. Through practical examples, they draw up their own product innovation strategy for your company.

They help to test your solution in the market using a minimum viable product and map the path of your customers from a to z. They find out what innovative service your company can offer to piggyback on the ‘drone-as-a-service’ economy. They put the theory into practice and learn how to pitch your innovation strategy to a professional jury or investor.

No longer doubt and submit your idea via the idea box of the Drone Business School.


For the case module, the teams work out a
business plan
supplemented by a
VLAIO development project.
This plan will be presented to each team in early June before the jury.


Before you draw up the plans of your company, you first need to lay the foundations thoroughly. This is how you build on a strong foundation. The ideal tool to help you with this is the Business Model Canvas. Once you have completed all the building blocks of your business case in the canvas model, you can get started with the business plan:


  1. Idea (description, your pitch, strengths and weaknesses)
  2. Mission, vision and strategy
  3. Market analysis (targeting, suppliers, partners, competitors, environment, swot analysis)
  4. Organizational plan (swot: team, expertise, resources, timing, objectives, …)
  5. Marketing (products and/or services, pricing, location, promotion, staff)
  6. Financial plan (revenue forecast, investments, financing, break-even turnover, feasibility test, conclusion)

Do you have an innovative idea that can strengthen your business, but do you still have to overcome many challenges in developing that innovation? Do you need to develop a new technology, improve your processes or services thoughtfully, build a prototype or go through a pilot phase with challenges?

VLAIO gives companies with a development project a boost with advice and financial support. But, what does your business case have to meet?

You must demonstrate that you have mapped out all aspects that affect your plans:

  • you carried out a thorough market analysis,
  • you know what the added value of your innovation means for your customers and how your innovation can improve your company’s position in the market,
  • you have a realistic view of future costs and benefits

It should be a development that is new to your business and new to your specific sector. During the project you build up new knowledge and skills and there are real challenges that you have also effectively identified. This also means that the project objectives are clear and verifiable.

Of course, you also need to have the right people, with the necessary expertise, on board to successfully realize your plans and your goal must actually be achievable in the target market.

In June, the teams will be scheduled to give a presentation to the jury about the detailed case. Each team member will take on part of the presentation and each will answer at least one question.

The jury will use the following assessment criteria, depending on the type of case:

  • Feasibility business case (economic, technological, legal, financial, social support, …)
  • Quality of the business plan or innovation dossier
  • Thorough market research
  • Degree of innovation
  • Structure, content, smoothness of the presentation


Here you will find an overview of the commitments we expect from both the students and the companies in developing the business cases.

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Business appointments

The objective of the pitch sessions by the companies is to present the students with an innovative drone business idea and to discuss this with them. This innovative drone idea is presented by the companies via a powerpoint and a one-pager text. The organiser makes standard templates available for this purpose in the form of questions that the company needs to answer regarding their drone idea.

Students, in consultation with the company and the Organizer, determine which drone idea they want to group into a team of 2 to 4 people. Each team is instructed by the Organiser to further develop the chosen drone idea into a business plan supplemented by an innovation development project.

Students formally sign through a letter of engagement that they respect strict confidentiality with regard to the companies and a waiver of rights to any intellectual property in relation to the business case(s) of the companies.

Companies make themselves available on an ad hoc note for their team during the months of February to May for questions from trainees in their team. The Organiser shall make a Coordinator available for each team in order not to over-burden the companies.

Every Tuesday evening, premises are provided at PXL or DronePort to facilitate teamwork and possible consultation with companies. Students can schedule a visit to the company on site if this is desirable.

At the beginning of June, each team will present its final plan to the Jury via a powerpoint and detailed business plan, supplemented by a vlaio development project proposal. The company should commit itself to co-representing the Jury (only) for the team with its drone business idea.

Companies can participate in a pitch session if registered with the Organization. A registration consists of submitting a clear description of an innovative drone business idea through a one pager and powerpoint, (example made available by the Organizer)

The Organiser will let you know whether the company’s registration meets the expectations of an ‘innovative drone business idea’. It is important that the company is seriously considering investing in its own case and may submit an innovation process for this. Ultimately, the aim is to develop as many cases as possible that lead to market-ready solutions.

The company should not elaborate a detailed proposal on its drone idea. It is enough to provide a direction for the students to help them on their way in the follow-up process.

Appointments for students

Ideas pitched by companies
Only students enrolled in the postgraduate Drone Business Architect
and coordinators appointed by the Organizer can participate in the pitch sessions by the companies. In the course of module ‘Business’, companies will pitch one or two drone business ideas for the students.

Students can group into teams of 2 to 4 people related to one innovative drone business idea of a company.

A student can only join one team in consultation with the Promoter. Each team is assigned a Coordinator appointed by the Promoter. The Coordinator is the first point of contact for the team for any questions regarding their team operation. Each team should be able to develop its drone business idea quite independently with the luggage gained during the modules (aviation – technology – business).

By the end of May, each team should have developed their drone business idea into a full-fledged business plan, supplemented by an innovation development project. The complete plan must be submitted in the form of a text and a powerpoint to the Promoter.

The team will be asked to defend its drone business case before the full Jury in early June.

Each student signs an Engagement letter before the start of the Business module in which he/she agrees to a strict confidentiality and waiver of rights to any intellectual property of the business cases proposed by the companies or knowledge centres. In addition, the student agrees to transfer rights to the promotion of the training by the Promoter.