Last week, UMD alum and CEO of Airgility, Pramod Raheja met with AMA members to share how he founded one of the hottest startups in Maryland. Airgility is a leading designer & manufacturer of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). It all started with an idea back in 2006 when Co-founder and CTO, Evandro Valente realized he could create a drone capable of taking off and landing without a runway and of flying forward with superior efficiency compared to competitors. After filing for a provisional patent, his team shortly began working on the HorseSHU (HS-1) project and Evandro and Pramod founded Airgility Incorporated in April of 2017.
What’s unique about Airgility drones is that you can position the drones in all kinds of orientations and they even work at night when it’s pitch black. Not only that but no pilot is necessary to drive it.
Pramod shared how marketing can be encompassed in your whole life, “I didn't take any formal marketing classes but everything you do in life is marketing,” says Pramod. When creating the logo for Airgility, Pramod discussed how they created one with a double meaning. When their logo was first developed they were not doing anything with AI but knew it was something they wanted to dive into in the future. Therefore the “ai” in their logo was created to stand for both Airgility Incorporated and artificial intelligence (AI).
As the meeting came to a close, Pramod left students with this advice: “If you’re starting a new venture, zero expertise is necessary to get started.” He studied aerospace engineering and his first job out of college was at a company selling telecommunication. “However, you do have to be a student, you have to want to learn.”