- On January 25, 2017
Daniel Scheiner and Daniel Knaul have formed Skyraider Aeronautics and set up shop at theClubhou.se. Count a solid work ethic and sharp wit among their talents. Meet the Daniels!
1: What is the business?
Skyraider Aeronautics is a drone services company that provides federally licensed drone pilots for a variety of commercial services, such as aerial media/marketing, construction/civil infrastructure inspections, and a growing variety of miscellaneous projects.
2: When and where did you found it?
We conceived of the company in September 2016, right here in Augusta, Georgia, and officially
incorporated in mid-October.
3: Where is the business now?
Skyraider Aeronautics is pulling the two of us along on a wild ride. Right now we’re connecting with several realtors, a few local news outlets, and even a few sports programs, on the basis of offering continued support to their existing operations. On top of all of that, we are channeling our efforts into a direction with some exciting potential: Precision Agricultural Support. The coming weeks will see us training and equipping our first media production team, and may see us seizing some incredible opportunities.
4: What were you like in school?
Daniel Scheiner: I was the technology nerd (My nickname was Tek Support), as well as an avid reader. I spent most of my time in the library verses socializing with my peers.
Daniel Knaul: I was homeschooled until I went to college, so my school experiences are a little abnormal. In the home environment I was allowed to develop and embrace my curiosity and creativity, which means I did a lot of reading and a lot of writing. My mom taught me the traditional subjects, but it was my dad who really lit the fire under my inquisitive mind by doing everything from teaching me algebra in his workshop when I was 9, to introducing me to Autocad and Visual Basic when I was 12. As an adult, I think that this is why I tend to approach problems as learning experiences, rather than roadblocks. That’s just how I was taught to think.
5: Any extra-curricular activities?
Daniel Scheiner:I play Dungeons & Dragons, as well as other board games.
Daniel Knaul: As a kid I played baseball, and spent a few years obsessed with programming and 3D modeling. In the modern era, I spend what little free time I get listening to a variety of podcasts, playing video games, or reading.
6: Any significant experiences/skills that (with hindsight) influenced your business?
Daniel Scheiner: I’ve learned about how to manage my time better to get the most out of everyday.
Daniel Knaul: The two skills of mine that have been most helpful are my writing, developed by passion, and my spreadsheeting, developed by nerdiness.
7: Any previous entrepreneurial experience? Lessons learned?
Daniel Scheiner: I’ve always wanted to own my own business, when I was seven I wanted to build Jurassic Park. After the idea of starting a business, I had a string of business ideas for almost twenty years such as publishing company, social media website, and crazier ones like man-cave design consultant.
Daniel Knaul: I think I have come up with a business idea every day since I was 12, but I had not taken any steps to build one until Dan came to me with this idea. This experience has had an unparalleled learning curve for me, and I’m sure that will continue to be true for a long time to come.
8: What appealed to you about entrepreneurship?
Daniel Scheiner: It isn’t about the money, I think it’s about the legacy. I want to build something from the ground up that will last beyond me.
Daniel Knaul: I like the attitude of self efficacy that permeates the entrepreneurial ideal. To me, there are no problems that are beyond my ability to solve, and finding solutions is inherent to the process of entrepreneurship.
9: How did you get the idea?
Daniel Scheiner: About two years ago, I wanted to start a quick response search and rescue drone firm but regulations prevented me, that all changed August of last year.
Daniel Knaul: What He said. ^^^^ This endeavor was his idea, and while I have helped develop new directions and ideas, the core idea of the endeavor is his and his alone.
Daniel Scheiner: Don’t listen to him, mine was a vision with little concept of how to get to the end but he helped me build the realization.
10: How has your idea progressed over time?
Our ideas as a whole have become more refined and clear with the continuing advice of entrepreneurial experts, like Eric Parker. We feel that our core idea is solid, and most of the progressions have come in the incorporation of additional possibilities, rather than in changes in the central concept of the company.
11: How did you find your co-founders (if applicable)?
Daniel Scheiner: Daniel Knaul was apart of a Dungeons & Dragons (or as we put in our resumes “team driven exercises that are goal oriented”) and after getting to know him, I realized that we would fit well because he has strengths to my weakness.
Daniel Knaul: What a strange coincidence! I also met my partner at a weekly meeting of my collaborative problem solving group. Shortly thereafter he invited me on this ride, which has turned out to be much more than I could have initially imagined.
12: How did you fund the business?
Our initial funding came from a friend, who purchased our first drone and covered our initial legal fees. Right now all of our funding is out of pocket, at least that which is not covered by our revenue, which isn’t that bad actually, due to Skyraider having such low overhead. However, we are currently in the market for investors who are excited by the potential of being on the bleeding edge of technological advancement.
13: How did you market your business?
Daniel Scheiner: Networking is key, in the past 7 years that I’ve been in Augusta I grew a collection of professionals from many fields.
Daniel Knaul: As of when we’re writing this, most of our marketing has been through word of mouth (Read: Dan’s “collection”) and a few weeks of cold calling. Sadly, I have not been in the Augusta area quite as long as he has, so my network is notably smaller. However, it has been growing rapidly in the recent months for some reason. . .
14: What does a typical day involve for you? How does that compare to your team (if applicable). How has this changed over time?
Daniel Scheiner: A typical day is a mixture of meetings, responding to emails, and flying drones. Originally this started as a part-time project now but as time goes on, it’s taking up more and more of my time and, we are getting to the point where we are hiring other pilots.
Daniel Knaul: On my days off from the Navy, It’s usually much like Dan’s day, because we’re doing things together. On the days that I sacrifice to the Navy, I usually spend the first 3-4 hours of the day working on projects with Dan, or going to meetings, before I go to serve my Navy function.
15: Favorite books?
Daniel Scheiner: The Lord of the Rings is the quickest way to my heart. It has been a massive impact on my life since I was a young-boy. I have given lectures on the subject, and have two LOTR tattoos. I’d say I’m a little bit of a fan.
Daniel Knaul: The Redwall series will always have a special place in my heart, but in the current epoch of my life I have to say that everything Discworld is on my list, and The Go-Giver is a recent favorite.
16: Favorite movies?
Daniel Scheiner: I’d say Blade Runner is probably my all-time favourite.
Daniel Knaul: Everything Star Wars, Marvel, or Batman, is just peachy with me.
17: Favorite entrepreneurs?
Daniel Scheiner: Richard Scheper, Ph.D. of Jovian Concept is my most admired because he established a corporate culture that I’m attempting to replicate. Entrepreneurs should encourage their employees to be social, creative, and forward thinking, while also providing professional development.
Daniel Knaul: Elon Musk, because not only is everything he seems to be doing about making the world a better place in the long term, but he’s been very generous with his ideas. I very much believe that when one has an idea to improve the world, one should not allow greed to stifle it’ spread.
18: Best piece of advice?
Daniel Scheiner: When you want to be successful as bad as you want to breathe, you will be successful.
Daniel Knaul: Want what’s best for others, and the best is what they’ll want for you.
19: Common misconceptions about your business/entrepreneurship in general?
Daniel Scheiner: That it is easy to do. There are a ton of regulations when it comes to flying drones, not knowing them could be an expensive oversight in itself.
Daniel Knaul: I think that the biggest misconception is that drones can only take pictures, or are just toys. So many times people have been surprised by the things that drones are being used for, things that have been possible for years now.
20: What is next for your business?
Daniel Scheiner: Acquiring investment needed to test out our ideas, hiring and training commercial drone pilots.
Daniel Knaul: I wish we knew. . . There are 6 or 7 hundred possibilities that I’ve worked out. We’ll see what happens.
21: What next for you?
Daniel Scheiner: In February, I am starting to work full-time on building the Skyraider brand.
Daniel Knaul: I’m going to be getting out of the Navy in November, if everything goes well. Until then it looks like I’m working 80 hours a week.
22: How has working out of theClubhou.se benefitted your company?
Daniel Scheiner: I have met some of the best people in Augusta through theClubhou.se. We have a great place to work, meet clients, and I look forward to growing with this wonderful organization.
Daniel Knaul: Having a space to go where I can focus on work, and be in my work mentality, has been very beneficial. Not only that, theClubhou.se has afforded us some great networking and business opportunities.