A drone mapping and aerial data services company that counts the Innovate Indiana Fund as a key financial backer has made a switch at CEO as it prepares for rapid growth both domestically and abroad.
According to TechCrunch, Blackboard Inc. co-founder Michael Chasen is taking the reins at the Raleigh, N.C.-based PrecisionHawk, which employs at least 10 Hoosiers in the Terre Haute area and more than 120 overall. He replaces Red Hat co-founder Bob Young, who will remain PrecisionHawk’s chairman after serving as CEO since July 2015.
Chasen has a track record of expanding into foreign markets, establishing Blackboard in 20 international offices during his time there as CEO. According to Chasen, PrecisionHawk currently has revenue-making and research activities in six countries, TechCrunch reported.
In July 2016, PrecisionHawk was named one of the world’s 30 most promising technology pioneers for 2016 by the World Economic Forum. The list recognizes early-stage companies whose design, development and deployment of new technologies stand to significantly impact both business and society. Past pioneers include Google Inc. (2002), Mozilla Corp. (2007), the Wikimedia Foundation (2008), Twitter Inc. (2010), Dropbox Inc. (2011), Spotify Ltd. (2011) and Airbnb (2014).
In 2014, PrecisionHawk won an Indiana Innovation Award and was a finalist for TechPoint’s Mira Awards as Tech Startup of the Year. Among other awards, the company was named to TiEcon’s list of Top 50 technology startups and recognized as a Top 100 Global Sustainable Solutions company by Sustainia.
The Innovate Indiana Fund led PrecisionHawk’s $1 million round of initial financing and took part in $10 million of Series B funding in 2014. In 2016, it joined more than a half-dozen investors in a $20 million Series C capitalization for the company.
Managed by the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., part of IU’s Innovate Indiana initiative, the fund provides early-stage capital to companies with an IU connection. It also advises in such areas as technology assessment, market analysis and planning, management recruitment, product development, sales strategy, customer acquisition, and next-stage capital.