In September 2020, the new academic year of the Drone Business School will start. “After a successful launch last year, we are going back to the postgraduate Drone Business Architect,” says Mark Vanlook of EUKA. “In this unique training, both students and participating companies learn how to turn an innovative idea into a profitable business. So as a student, do you want to learn how to turn technology into a profitable business model? Or are you a passionate drone innovator but do you need help from our students as an entrepreneur to draw up a business plan? Then this is your chance to finally launch your drone idea!

PXL University of Applied Sciences, DronePort and the Flemish Drone Federation EUKA started a postgraduate Drones Business Architect last year with the support of the province, POM Limburg and VLAIO. After a successful first academic year, PXL University of Applied Sciences and EUKA decided to deepen their cooperation and establish a Drone Business School to offer a broader training offer on drone technology in the long term. Companies and professionals learn how to turn economic or technological opportunities into viable applications with drones.

The Drone Business Architect course is based on the principle that those who want to develop drone applications should not only be at home in technology, but also have knowledge of drone legislation and aviation aspects such as navigation and aerodynamics. In addition, a Drones Business Architect must have the right skills to draw up a business plan, possibly supplemented by an innovation dossier. That is why the postgraduate consists of the modules Aviation, Technology and Business.

Within the training programme there is also a lot of attention for practical cases. For example, there are numerous guest speakers from the business community who, together with the students, develop their drone business idea into a full-fledged business plan and innovation trajectory. A large part of the lessons can be followed on location (DronePort in Sint-Truiden or PXL in Hasselt) and online remotely. In this way, students decide for themselves how and when they are following the training.

“The development of new unmanned technologies is much more efficient when you have an overview of all available knowledge. That’s why it’s important that there are initiatives like the Drone Business School that allows pioneers in the drone industry to launch their ideas with a head start, to put together a logical business model and at the same time realize an added market value to give their business a healthy foundation,” says Frank Vanwelkenhuyzen of DroneMatrix, one of the participating companies.

“I describe the Drones Business Architect course in one word with ‘diversity’. A drone (business) transcends very varied landscapes, here you will learn how to stir up dust and bring innovation to the business within this landscape. Modelling, communication, meteo, (European) legislation, product determination, market study, a case study and pitching, it is all essential for marketing your idea”, testifies student Sander Screurs who works as a web developer at Appeel.io.