“The team at DroneUp couldn’t be happier with the support we’ve received from Governor Youngkin’s office and the Commonwealth of Virginia as a whole over the years,” said Tom Walker, founder and CEO of DroneUp. “Virginia is our home, and we are proud to be able to continue to bring new innovation, talent, and economic opportunities to our great state. This investment and expansion will not only bring new career opportunities to our region, but also allow us to tap into the brightest minds around Unmanned Aircraft System development and design.”
VEDP worked with the City of Virginia Beach, Dinwiddie County, Richard Bland College, and Virginia’s Gateway Region to bring the project to Virginia. Gov. Youngkin approved a $928,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist with the project, along with $4 million in funds from the Virginia Economic Development Incentive Grant. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved a grant for $111,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund for the project, and funding and services to support DroneUp’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
“This is an impressive and highly impactful project for Virginia Beach, Dinwiddie County, and beyond that represents a new age of technology for our society, and DroneUp is at the forefront of Unmanned Aircraft System development,” said Gov. Youngkin. “This homegrown Virginia company is transforming product delivery through its partnership with Walmart, and we are proud to partner with DroneUp as it extends its footprint across the Commonwealth and creates more than 650 cutting-edge jobs. The Commonwealth successfully competed against multiple states for this expansion project and I’m so proud of the multi-pronged effort to attract this investment to Virginia.”
“DroneUp’s expansion in Virginia Beach and new testing, training, and R&D center at Richard Bland College is an exciting step forward for the unmanned systems industry in Virginia and serves as a model for higher education partnerships and economic development,” said Merrick. “With the second-highest concentration of tech workers in the nation and world-class education institutions, the Commonwealth is well-positioned to empower DroneUp’s continued success.”
“VIPC’s relationship with DroneUp spans several years and multiple pilot programs with our Virginia Unmanned Systems Center and funding opportunities through our Commonwealth Commercialization Fund and Virginia Venture Partners,” said Robert Stolle, President and CEO of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC). “They are a shining example of Virginia’s willingness to welcome and support innovation and job creation.”