Drones make for some really incredible photographic tools but that’s not all they are useful for.

In a bid to assist startups which make use of drones, Mzansi Aerospace Technologies has launched the Drone Start-Up Accelerator Programme.

The programme hopes to equip 13 startups with the tools and skills needed to drive the adoption of drone technology in South Africa.

These startups will participate in a 20-week accelerator. At the end of the 20 weeks, Mzansi Aerospace Technologies says the startups should achieve “Product-Market-Fit”.

This will be achieved by using the Lean Startup methodology.

“Using ‘The Lean Start-up’ by Eric Ries, widely adopted by major global accelerators with exceptional results, will help our start-up clients build products that the market wants,” explains founder of Mzansi Aerospace Technologies, Victor Radebe.

“One of its key tenets is that start-ups often fail because they ignore the voice of the customers and remain pre-occupied with their solutions. This programme not only boosts the start-ups’ business skills, it also introduces them to key customers, providing a platform for collaborative planning and development into the future,” adds Radebe.

The accelerator will be taking place at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Rapid Incubator (CfERI) at the Ekurhuleni West TVET College in Katlehong.

Other partners supporting the accelerator include the Small Enterprise Development Agency, the City of Ekurhuleni, the National Youth Development Agency, United Drone Holdings and Royal HaskoningDHV.

“It is an honour for the City of Ekurhuleni to be hosting this programme as we are committed to contributing towards the success of the post-productivity economy that is shaping the developing world,” said executive mayor for the City of Ekurhuleni, Mzwandile Masina.

“The significance of this must be located in the context of the socio-economic realities of South Africa, and the opportunities it creates for entrepreneurship and employment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Masina.

Royal HaskoningDHV has said it will offer training and mentorships to startups in the programme so that they are able to provide future clients with a complete service including utilisation of artificial intelligence and data analytics.

“In many industries, drones enable us to break through new barriers in gathering and sharing real-time data, reducing costs, and increasing efficiency, safety, and security. We’re keen to help these start-ups understand how to service their future customers as best as possible as we move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” says leading professional for Partners and Governance at Royal HaskoningDHV in South Africa, Gideon Treurnich.

While several of the startups taking part in the accelerator are already established in fields such as security and construction, Mzansi Aerospace Technologies believes the skills passed on during the programme will help with boosting skills development, grow income and create jobs.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]