Sky's the limit: 5 Austin startups driving drone innovation

January 20, 2020

It’s a bird.

It’s a plane.

No, wait, that’s definitely a drone.

Believe it or not, the first flying drone was actually created in 1917. The technology has since evolved, with many companies today creating smart software that can capture 3D maps, assess emergency situations, collect flight data and more. Here are five Austin-based, drone-driven startups we’re keeping up with.

Notable Drone Companies in Austin

  • DroneSense
  • Hangar
  • Slingshot Aerospace
  • HUVR
  • Drone Dispatch


photo via shutterstock

Used by first responders, DroneSense’s software platform provides autonomous and manual flight controls, command center capabilities and management solutions to raise awareness during emergency scenarios. Its 2D models and 3D mapping tools help emergency response teams evaluate topography, weather, hazards and more before engaging in missions. Founded in 2015, DroneSense raised nearly $5 million in funding from investors this past March.


photo via shutterstock

Hangar Technologies flew onto the startup scene in 2016 with a healthy $6.5 million seed round. Its software provides an open, full-stack processing platform for mobile robotics, machine learning and AI. To date, Hangar’s solutions have supported over 450,000 autopilot missions that have captured over 50 million objects from above.


slingshot aerospace
Photo via facebook.

As the amount of aerial data capture technologies available has increased, one has to start wondering what we are doing with all of it? To help make sense of it all, Slingshot Aerospace launched an AI platform that processes this data to offer insight, predictive analytics, risk management and more. When Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast last August, Slingshot’s solutions were used to identify safe flood evacuation routes, standing flood areas and staging locations as water levels rose.


photo via shutterstock

HUVR delivers industrial asset inspections using aerial technologies that offer data analytics, data management and secure data storage. HUVR’s data collected from the sky can be integrated with notes from on-the-ground technicians to offer a complete inspection of assets. It serves a number of industries, including clients from renewable energy, oil and gas, cellular, bridges, dams and ships. The startup launched in 2014.


drone dispatch
photo via twitter.

Thanks to the popularity of ride-hailing startups, other industries have also taken an interest in on-demand services. Drones are no different. Drone Dispatch allows for users from commercial, creative and enterprise sectors to schedule drone services anywhere within the U.S. at any time. Flights can be booked over the phone, email or online. Once the flight has been completed, Drone Dispatch’s in-house team processes the footage and makes it available for users to view, share and download.


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