South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) announces its affiliate, SC Launch, Inc.’s, investment of $200,000 in UASidekick, Inc., a Greenville-based drone software company.
UASidekick became an SC Launch Member Company in 2019 and successfully progressed through the program, receiving a $50,000 Acceleration Grant. They eventually became an SC Launch, Inc. Portfolio Company by receiving this investment.
UASidekick is an app that allows drone pilots to file flight plans and access airspace quickly and easily through a mobile platform. The company also works closely with government and regulatory agencies to provide a technological solution for airspace management and drone identification.
“We look for startups that have innovative technologies, a competitive business model, and a solid management team. It’s an added benefit when this technology also contributes a service for the common good. UASidekick provides critical information to drone pilots about where they can fly and immediately registers their flight with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). This maximizes both safety and productivity for drone pilots and anyone in the drone area,” said Steve Johnson, SCRA Investment Manager. “UASidekick saw the coming attraction and utility of drones for both commercial and personal use and was ahead of the curve in putting together their impressive app in the field.”
“SCRA has been extremely supportive of our vision from the beginning. With over a million drones projected to be flying in the National Airspace System this year, the complexities of
low-altitude air traffic management have grown exponentially. There is a clear need for solutions that keep not only the aircraft in the sky safely, but also safeguard the people and property on the ground beneath them. Our software application is designed to enhance safety and airspace access in this new era in aviation, as well as lay the groundwork to enable the future of drone air taxi service and package delivery,” said Nathan Ruff, UASidekick’s CEO and Co-founder.
“Drone activity clearly has increased in our society. They are being used by the government, private industry, and individuals. Drone regulations are crucial to the safety of their use and UASidekick worked the FAA and NASA to develop the application which streamlines the process of getting clearance for drone usage,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA Executive Director. “Their app is a low-cost, mobile way to better manage airspace that has become more congested and complex in recent years.”
UASidekick also provides Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) to both commercial and recreational pilots, along with a suite of other pilot tools. LAANC is a collaboration between the FAA and industry that provides drone pilots with access to controlled airspace at or below 400 feet.
About SC Launch Inc.
Established in 2006, SC Launch, Inc., is an independent, nonprofit corporation affiliated with SCRA, which provides loans and investments to selected South Carolina-based companies participating in the SC Launch program.
Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation, South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy through the impact of its four programs. SC Academic Innovations provides funding and support to advance multi-institutional, translational research and accelerate the growth of university-based startups. SC Facilities offers high-quality laboratory and administrative workspaces for technology-based startups and academic institutions. SC Industry Solutions facilitates and funds partnerships between and among startups, industry, and academia. SC Launch mentors and funds technology-based startups that may also receive investments from SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc.