UPSTART 100: Dr. Ernest Earon -- PrecisionHawk Founder

by Michael del Castillo for Upstart Business Journal


Ernest Earon studied different "species" of Artificial Intelligence before founding the venture-backed drone company.

Ernest Earon wrote his PhD thesis on different "species" of artificial intelligence. So now that he's building intelligence into data-collecting drones that could change the world by improving farmers' information, investors are paying close attention.

"PrecisionHawk is a data collection company as much as anything," says Red Hat founderBob Youngwho backed the company in March. "Primarily, it's agricultural industry data collection, and we use drones to do that. Our drones are computer-controlled drones, so the computer tells the drone where to go and what to survey, and the attraction to these unmanned planes is they can fly at a low altitude over a farmer's field."

Young wasn't the only investor impressed by Earon's technology. PrecisionHawk raised $10 million in November in a round led by Intel. And Earon is branching beyond farms as well with a deal with Measure to collect data about industries including oil and gas, farming, insurance, mining, and wildlife conservation.

In all, it adds up to a vision of a world made better by applying cutting edge technology to some of the world's oldest and most important industries.

Ernest Earon's vitals:

  • He previously led development teams for the Canadian Space Agency.
  • As part of his doctoral studies, he developed a network of mobile robots for planetary exploration missions.
  • The 38-year-old has more than 10 years of experience in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Follow PrecisionHawk on Twitter @Precisionhawlk.

Essential reading and watching: