A few weeks ago, I had the honor of interviewing Patrick Thévoz, CEO of Flyability.
Patrick Thévoz co-founded Flyability in 2014 with Dr. Adrien Briod. After only one year, the company has already secured 2M USD in funding and received multiple awards such “Top-3 business plans of Switzerland” at venture 2014 competition, venture kick, the Hello Tomorrow Challenge in Paris, or the UAE Drones for Good competition in Dubai and placed among the hottest 50 Swiss startups to invest in for 2015.
Patrick earned in 2009 a Master’s degree in engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, focusing on the development of microsystems for applications in the biotechnology and space industries. He then started his career as a strategy consultant for the life sciences industry. In his 4-year career in consulting, Patrick worked with customers ranging from blue-chip companies to young startups in launching new products, entering new markets and achieving a sustainable growth.
Watch the interview below.
We talked about:
- Testing if the market wants your product before you develop it
- How to deal with an unpredictable future
- Hiring the right people if you don’t have an HR department yet
- Dealing with all the paperwork you don’t really want to deal with
- The importance of peer support during tough times
- Why Switzerland is a great place to find angel investors
- Where to meet angel investors in Switzerland
- What smart money really means
- How to differentiate between the right and the wrong investors
- Showing your ideas to the world vs. hiding them from everyone
- Benefiting from EPFLs startup ecosystem even if you’re not an EPFL student
- Why early customer relationships need to be built on trust
Flyability is bringing to the market the first collision-tolerant flying robot, allowing to access cluttered places and safely fly indoors, close to structures and among people.
Inspired by the way insects handle collisions, this innovation completely changes the way drones can be used by allowing them to operate within cities, inside buildings in a risk-free and easy way. Flyability is now targeting the industrial inspection market where its technology improves workers security and reduces downtime.
Flyability is also active in search & rescue to find victims faster and with less risk for the rescuers and in security to assess a dangerous situation before engaging personnel. Flyability won in February 2015 the 1M USD Drones for Good prize, and is notably supported by the NCCR Robotics, the FIT foundation, the Swiss CTI and Venturekick.
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