Grand Forks ND, Dec 15, 2015
Sharper Shape Inc., the world leading supplier of drone (UAV) based infrastructure and utility asset management solutions, announced today the opening of its North American Technical and Operations Center at the Center for Innovation in Grand Forks ND.
“The strong entrepreneur ecosystem and a world-leading cluster of drone companies in Grand Forks helped with our selection. We are enthusiastic about the talent base that has been created in Grand Forks. This is the highest concentration of broad range drone expertise and its application in commercial civil applications”, said Tero Heinonen, founder and CEO of Sharper Shape.
Sharper Shape is immediately hiring three key personnel in Grand Forks to found its technology and operations organization for North America. These key roles include airspace safety, utility business development, and drone and sensor manufacturer relations. The company expects to hire several additional drone and utility industry experts during the next year. As the global market leader in this exciting new field, the company serves major customers in Europe, North America, and South America. Building a strong base in Grand Forks will enable Sharper Shape to enter a new key market in the US.
“The good progress FAA has demonstrated in their efforts to integrate drones in the national airspace makes us confident that infrastructure inspection flights will get the green light for large scale commercial operations in the US in the near future”, said Heinonen.
Sharper Shape’s office in the UND Center for Innovation provides the company with a solid foundation and support for future expansion in Grand Forks, and an immediate access to a network of highly skilled professionals.
“Locating in the UND Center for Innovation makes sense, as being a global leader in the deployment of drones in commercial applications requires the best partners and collaborators”, said Heinonen.
“Tero of Sharper Shape has proven their technology and systems to inspect electrical utility infrastructure in Finland and other countries in Europe and around the world. As the FAA opens up the national airspace in the US, Sharper Shape has a significant market and entrepreneur opportunity from Grand Forks,” responded Bruce Gjovig, CEO & Entrepreneur Coach at the UND Center for Innovation Foundation. “Tero and his team join a community of nine drone-related ventures with staff in our tech incubator, plus another 11 ventures that are virtual tenants exploring market opportunities,” he added. “Our Center has become a beachhead for entrepreneurial companies entering the drone market, and we expect many will grow and graduate into Grand Sky, the nation’s first drone technology park.“
About Sharper Shape
Sharper Shape (www.sharpershape.com) is the world-leading supplier of drone-based asset management solutions for infrastructure. Sharper Shape provides fully automated inspection and maintenance planning services for infrastructure asset owners. Our Next Eagle® solution is the world’s first automatic asset inspection solution utilizing drones, which drastically reduces inspection and maintenance costs for high value assets such as power lines, pipelines, railways and more. We provide actionable plans for both the financial decision-makers to help with budgeting and resource allocation, and for engineering in planning and placing work orders for asset maintenance and vegetation management.
Tero Heinonen, CEO, Sharper Shape
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Direct cell: +1 (415) 374 9193
About the UND Centre for Innovation
The UND Center for Innovation (www.Innovators.net) was started in 1984 and was among the first entrepreneur outreach centers in the nation. In 1996, the Center opened the first tech incubator in the Upper Great Plains, and the Center for Innovation Foundation built the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center in 2005 two of the first university tech incubators in the Great Plains states. The UND Center for Innovation is known as one of the premier venture development organizations in the United States, profiled as one of just six venture development organizations for best practices nationwide by SSTI Regional Innovation Acceleration Network. The Center has received 15 national and international awards for excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation by such entities as NBIA, SSTI, EDA and SBA. The Center’s mission is to foster innovation, entrepreneurship and access to entrepreneur capital as well as provide vital entrepreneur ecosystem such as the Ina May Rude Entrepreneur Center and the Skalicky Tech Incubator. The Center is a “Soft Landing International Incubator” one of the first six so designated in 2006, and one of just 27 incubators worldwide designated for being well suited for international entrepreneurs.
Bruce Gjovig, CEO, UND Center for Innovation Foundation
Email: Bruce@innovators.net, Cell: 701-739-3132