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What does it take to start your own drone business?

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In this article, we interview Oliver Noles, a young Kiwi entrepreneur who along with his business partner Tristan Rudden, recently founded an online racing drone retailer, KiwiQuads.

Drone racing has positively exploded in popularity in the last few years.

As we wrote here in 2018, FPV (first-person view) drone racing is now at a stage where professional competitors vie for major cash prizes. Big race comps, like those run by the Drone Racing League, have 18 professional racers and offer race winners cash prizes of up to $100,000.

What’s responsible for the increasing popularity of FPV drones?

Across YouTube and Instagram, there are now thousands of videos showcasing amazing onboard GoPro footage from racing drones as they zip, wind and flip through incredible tracks and impressive scenery. For an example of this, check out this FPV freestyle clip of a guy exploring an abandoned building with his racing drone.

It’s videos like these that first sparked Oliver’s interest in drone racing back in 2016. After seeing some cool clips, he researched and found there was a local racing community in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city.  After being inspired to give FPV racing a go, Oliver was initially racing 5-inch quads but says that he was “constantly crashing” and decided from to stick with smaller drones. He and his business partner Tristan used to race every weekend but got tired of always having to repair and solder the smashed remains of their racing drones back together.

How did the business start?

The idea for KiwiQuads first emerged in early 2018.

“We wanted drone racing to be more accessible to people by making it affordable and providing higher quality products to the New Zealand market,” Oliver says.

Oliver still works as an Electronics Technician and Tristan is a student studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce but since launching their site three months ago, business has been strong.

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