SkyGrid Wins 2023 Webby Award for Best Service & Utilities Software

SkyGrid, a Boeing, SparkCognition company, announced today that its end-to-end airspace management system, SkyGrid Flight Control, has been named the Best Services & Utilities Apps, dApps and Software in the 27th Annual Webby Awards Internet Celebration. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honour” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international awards organization honouring excellence on the Internet.

“SkyGrid has set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said Claire Graves, Executive Director of The Webby Awards. “This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.”

Powered by SkyGrid’s AerialOS™, SkyGrid Flight Control makes it easy for drone operators to explore the airspace, automate flights, and get real-time insights as one integrated solution, enabling safe, secure, and efficient operations. With over a hundred thousand downloads, the all-in-one drone application is available for free on the Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad users across the world and provides the following features for users:

  • Airspace intelligence: Provides a map of airspace classes, boundaries, temporary flight restrictions, notices to airmen, and other advisories
  • Weather layers: Details local precipitation, wind speed and direction, temperature, cloud cover, and more
  • Automated flight planning: Automatically generates area exploration, waypoint, and multi-objective missions based on custom flight parameters, such as desired speed, altitude, and location
  • Autonomous flight execution: Launches the mission to autonomously perform the predefined flight plan or scheduled flight

“At SkyGrid, we are committed to creating an intelligent airspace management system that is an essential component for integrating unmanned aircraft of all types in the global airspace,” said Amir Husain, Founder and CEO of SkyGrid. “The recognition from the Webby Awards is a testament to the innovation and hard work of the SkyGrid team, who are dedicated to creating solutions that will help shape the future of unmanned air travel and drive positive change in the world.”

More advanced enterprise features are also available for organizations looking to deploy, manage, and scale their drone operations. These features include AI-based mission planning and rerouting, multi-drone missions, custom object detection and counting, micro-weather, geofencing and alerts, and more.

IADAS, which nominates and selects The Webby Award Winners, is comprised of internet industry experts, including Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon and Reshma Saujani, Founder, Girls Who Code. Previous notable award winners include Apple, Electronic Arts, Lenovo, Audible (Amazon), Discord, NASA, and United Airlines, with this year’s Breakout of the Year Award to OpenAI’s ChatGPT generative AI text tool.

Presented by IADAS, SkyGrid will be honored at the 27th Annual Webby Awards in New York City on May 15th, hosted by comedian Roy Wood Jr. Fans can follow and watch show highlights, including hallmark 5-Word speeches from the night’s big winners on May 15th by following The Webby Awards @thewebbyawards on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and on YouTube.

About SkyGrid

SkyGrid, a Boeing, SparkCognition company, is powering the next generation of aviation. As the only airspace management system built on AI and blockchain, SkyGrid is solving the industry’s biggest challenges integrating unmanned aircraft in the global airspace and executing autonomous operations. SkyGrid’s AerialOS™ monitors, predicts, and adapts to changes in airspace traffic, environmental conditions, and vehicle health to intelligently route, synchronize, and manage unmanned aircraft. Based in Austin, Texas, SkyGrid is enabling a wide variety of commercial drone operations from package delivery to emergency assistance. For more information, visit skygrid.comLinkedIn, or Twitter

About The Webby Awards:

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites and Mobile Sites; Video; Advertising, Media and PR; Apps, dApps & Software, Social; Podcasts; Games and Metaverse, Immersive & Virtual. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards received nearly 14,000 entries from all 50 states and over 70 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include Canva, WP Engine, Verizon, Omidyar Network, YouGov, NAACP, KPMG, Wall Street Journal, All Tech Is Human, Podcast Movement and AIGA.

Flyby launches food drone delivery with Nekter Juice Bar, Salad Collective, & other food retailers closes $4M pre-seed

Today Flyby Robotics, the end-to-end drone automation and delivery company, announced that they have raised $4M in pre-seed investment funding. The round was led by MaC Venture Capital, with participation from Weekend Fund, Anthemis, and Evening Fund. Other strategic investors include Naval Ravikant, (Co-Founder of AngelList); Balaji Srinivasan, (Finance and former CTO of Coinbase); Karen Pritzker’s VC fund, Gaingels, Ryan Hoover (Founder at Product Hunt); and Cliff Sirlin (Managing Director at LaunchCapital).

Flyby Robotics is building end-to-end automation for drone delivery. Founded by a team of engineers out of Yale, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Anduril, Flyby was created to unlock the labor-saving potential of UAV technology for every merchant. Such delivery methods are faster and more affordable than car based courier systems

“You don’t have to be a multibillion-dollar corporation or a global military superpower to reap the economic benefits of autonomous drones,” says Jason Lu, Founder & CEO of Flyby Robotics. “Our AI-powered autonomous systems allow any merchant to dramatically reduce the cost of delivery to their customers.”

This news comes alongside their pilot launch and a series of active partnerships with food retailers and innovative snack brands across the US. The first cohort of live retailers include smoothies from Nekter Juice Barsalad from MAD Greens, sushi from Tokyo Joe’s, and crunchy shiitake mushroom chips from Popadelics. During the live pilot, customers from participating retailers are able to order drone delivery for just $3, and experience delivery times averaging under 4 minutes.

“Flyby’s entrance into the Mesa market further enhances the Greater Phoenix region’s vision to be the smartest and most connected region not only in the United States but across the world,” says Dr. Diana Bowman, Associate Dean and Professor, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Co-Director, Center for Smart Cities & Regions, Arizona State University. “Their launch in Mesa should be viewed as a paradigm shift in food delivery services, allowing customers to not only more easily connect with local restaurants, but also receive their fresh food faster. The Center for Smart Cities and Regions at ASU is delighted to partner with innovative companies such as Flyby as we work collectively to advance our smart region vision.”

“Nekter Juice Bar has always pushed forward to the forefront of technology to improve the guest experience, starting with our best-in-class app with more than 1.3 million loyalty members and user-friendly online ordering capabilities,” said Steve Schulze, co-founder and CEO, Nekter Juice Bar. “We are now continuing that tradition of innovation working with future-looking companies like Flyby.”

This pre-seed will fund product development with the goal of achieving Level 4 autonomy for Flyby’s flight systems, which currently perform at Level 3. At Level 4 autonomy, drones operate without any human intervention throughout the delivery process, but allow a pilot in a remote command center the option to manually override in rare circumstances.

“We saw in the Flyby team the tenacity and technical rigor to execute on a game-changing idea,” says Adrian Fenty, Founding Managing Partner at MaC Venture Capital. “We’re excited to watch drone delivery transform retail over the next 5 years.”

Flyby has already developed an industry-leading package deployment system, which gently winches products down from a hovering drone to customers’ doorsteps. The system is designed to uphold a product’s quality during flight and delivery, and allows Flyby to deliver fragile products like smoothies without spilling a drop.

“Partnering with Flyby was a no-brainer for us; Popadelics Crunchy Mushroom Chips aren’t just a snack – they’re an experience, which drone delivery further amplifies,” said Marilyn Yang, co-founder and CEO of Fun-Gal Snacks, the parent company of Popadelics. “We see many future possibilities for drone delivery for the Popadelics brand in partnership with Flyby.”

“The City of Las Vegas’ Innovation District is excited about drone delivery and its potential to reduce traffic, heighten technological development in the region, and provide more sustainable delivery infrastructure”, said Michael Sherwood, Chief Innovation Officer at the City of Las Vegas and its Innovation District, a future launch partner. “In addition to providing economic and employment opportunities.

About Flyby Robotics

Flyby is building the future of delivery via end-to-end drone automation. Founded by Jason Lu and Cat Orman out of Yale University, Flyby aims to unlock the labour-saving potential of UAV technology for every merchant.

To learn more, visit

UAvionix Awarded FAA Contract to Demo C-Band Frequency Assignment Manager for Multiple UAS

UAvionix announced Nov. 30 it has won a contract from the Federal Aviation Administration for multiple end-to-end demonstrations of a Frequency Assignment Manager (FAM) as a component of the uAvionix SkyLine Command and Control Communications Service Provider management platform.

This large-scale demonstration will enable a Frequency Management Organization operating the SkyLine platform to dynamically assign available frequencies within the internationally recognized UAS C-Band Command and Non-Payload Control range of 5030-5091MHz to uncrewed aircraft systems operating with CNPC radios.

For this purpose, uAvionix will leverage mature technology already being used in UAS flight missions today, including the SkyLine C2CSP platform and the uAvionix SkyLink CNPC radios.
UAvionix teamed with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, which is is very familiar with the concept of centralized C2 Service Provision through the uAvionix plays in the North Dakota Vantis UAS network.
The demonstrations are intended to demonstrate:

• The ability of SkyLine C2CSP platform to manage a pool of allocated (and licensed) frequencies in a geographic area.
• The ability of SkyLine C2CSP platform to allocate available frequencies (frequencies which are both allocated and not in use) to a specific CNPC radio for a specific mission.
• The ability of the SkyLink CNPC radios to receive assigned frequencies for the designated mission.
• The ability of the SkyLink CNPC radios to operate on the assigned frequencies for the designated mission.
• The ability of the SkyLine C2CSP platform to monitor and perform C2CSP functionality to the SkyLink CNPC radios during the designated mission.
• The ability to demonstrate non-interference when multiple aircraft using uniquely assigned frequencies are operating within proximity.

The goal of this contract is to demonstrate and verify real-world operations of dynamically allocated FAA protected spectrum for UAS operations. In doing so, uAvionix builds upon the work of the ITU, ICAO, RTCA, FAA, and FCC in the allocation and establishment of service rules for UAS CNPC protected frequencies, bringing beyond visual line of sight operations closer to daily reality. The contracted solution is intended to ultimately manage a limited amount of protected spectrum on behalf of many operators in the same area at once, through use of specialized radios on each drone and on the ground to dynamically manage frequency assignments when they are needed, and just for the duration of each flight.

Elroy Air Names Grant Newman Chief Financial Officer – sUAS News – The Business of Drones

Elroy Air, the Aerospace and Logistics company developing the world’s first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo system, today announced that Grant Newman has been appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer, effective September 28, 2021.

Mr. Newman has an extensive background in finance and aviation. He recently served as SVP, Strategy & Corporate Development at Era Group, Inc., where he led the acquisition of Bristow Group, Inc. The combination formed one of the largest helicopter operators in the world, providing aviation services to offshore energy companies globally as well as commercial and public sector search and rescue services, including for the U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency. Following the merger, he served as Treasurer and Head of Investor Relations for the combined company and led the issuance of $400 million in senior secured notes and an $80 million ABL facility.

Prior to his executive roles in the helicopter industry, Mr. Newman was a Director in the Industrials investment banking group at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. At Deutsche Bank, Mr. Newman led Americas Commercial Aerospace and Global Helicopter Coverage, with responsibilities for business origination and deal execution for a full range of strategic advisory and capital markets assignments including corporate mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, initial public offerings, leveraged buy-outs, high yield bonds and other investment banking offerings. He has been involved in many of the most significant transactions in the commercial aerospace industry over the last decade.

Mr. Newman began his professional career at General Electric Company (GE) from 2001 to 2006, where he had responsibilities for financial planning and analysis related to various GE business lines. During his tenure, Mr. Newman completed GE’s rigorous Financial Management Program and was certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Mr. Newman holds a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Economics and Government & Politics from the University of Maryland, a Master of Science degree in Finance from The Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

David Merrill, CEO of Elroy Air said: “We are excited to welcome Grant to the senior leadership team at Elroy Air as we make significant progress in our aircraft development and deployment capability. The convergence of our technology maturation and our leadership position in VTOL aerial logistics along with the capital markets’ embrace of advanced air mobility presents an opportune time for Grant to join the Elroy Air team. His experience and sophistication in strategic finance will be a competitive advantage for Elroy Air as we move into the market.”

About Elroy Air

Elroy Air is an aerospace and logistics company developing industry-first autonomous aircraft systems and software to expand the reach of express shipping to 1Bn people worldwide. Building on the powertrain, sensing and compute currently enabling the hybrid-electric/autonomous vehicle revolution, Elroy Air’s vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aerial logistics systems can operate outside of airport infrastructure and carry 300+ pounds of cargo over 300 miles. These systems evolve the realm of the possible in commercial air cargo, to expand delivery locations and reduce timeframes, provide immediate aid in disaster and fire-fighting situations, and rapid autonomous resupply for troops in the field.

Elroy Air was founded in 2016 by leaders in unmanned aerial systems (UAS), product development and software. The company is financed by top venture capital firms and strategic investors including Catapult Ventures, Levitate Capital, Lemnos, Lockheed Martin Ventures, Marlinspike Capital, Prosperity7 Ventures, Precursor Ventures, Haystack, Shasta Ventures, TenOneTen,, Amplify Partners, Homebrew, Hemisphere Ventures, DiamondStream Partners, E14 Fund, City Light, Side X Side Management, Venture Investment Associates, early Uber employees and pioneering angel investors.

The company has attracted a diverse and talented team with industry experience hailing from Uber, Northrop Grumman, Scaled Composites, General Atomics, Skyryse, Honeywell, General Electric, Deutsche Bank, Bristow Group and Airbus as well as academic backgrounds from Embry-Riddle, MIT, Tufts, Georgia Tech, Duke and Stanford.

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