SKYETON: THE SKY IS NO LONGER THE LIMIT
Ukrainian founder Aleksandr Stepura wants to grow his civilian drone-manufacturing startup Skyeton. Thanks to a local pool of aeronautical expertise inherited from the Soviet period, Stepura rapidly reached product excellence, technically on par with global powerhouses such as Boeing and other manufacturers coming from the military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) space. Coming from a market approach focused solely on addressing the needs of governmental entities (police, border patrol, coast guards...), Stepura wants to expand the activities to regular B2B sales, for which the sales cycle is much shorter and less dependent on political connections. But moving from B2G to B2B was no easy feat operationally. The startup also had to make other decisions: selling products (drones, as flying platforms or complete systems) or services? Where to re-locate the company? What business model to pursue? How much financing was required? What needs to change in the management team to go from startup to scaleup effectively?