Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Past B.E.T.A. Challenge Finalists: Where Are They Now? (2016 Series: Part 4)

Abby Speicher M'15, Founder of DARTdrones

Abby Speicher M’15, Founder of DARTdrones

Abby Speicher M’15 participated in 2015 Babson’s B.E.T.A. Challenge, where she became the winner of graduate division and won $20,000 to support her start-up business, DARTdrones. DARTdrones is a flight school for drone pilots with a focus on police departments, fire departments, and lifeguards. DARTdrones also teaches commercial drone users about regulations for drones, and how to fly. DARTdrones provides in-person trainings across the U.S.A.

During the interview with Abby, she told me that she has applied B.E.T.A. Challenge not only $20,000 cash prize, but also for fun. She said that B.E.T.A. Challenge provided her an incentive to compete with a group of people who had the same goal as she did. The competition became a channel through which she was able to show off her business and be judged by other people, including other participants of the competition.

Abby said that the prizes provided by B.E.T.A. Challenge helped her business grow significantly in the past months. DARTdrones originally has three locations in the U.S.A., when Abby and her cofounders were taking charge of all trainings and running the business. After winning the competition, Abby used part of the money to hire five interns. The whole team eventually ramped up the business over the summer. Now DARTdrones have six full time employees.
DARTdrones has some exciting opportunities ahead. In the near future, Abby and her team intend to create online courses as well as get 40 new trainers in 2016. DARTdrones also plans to provide classes for people who are taking FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) test in order to help test takers prepare for the exam.

Abby mentioned some tips which she personally thought was extremely important when she was participating in the B.E.T.A. Challenge. She shared that that is important to act professional and show credibility for your company before and during the presentation. Abby said to show all the progress you and your team made, and to remember it is not a traditional business competition. Talking about the future plans for your business not only adds credibility, but will get judges and the audience excited about the future.

Meet the B.E.T.A. Challenge semifinalists on April 6 and finalists on April 13. Follow #babsonbeta and visit the B.E.T.A. Challenge to learn more!