Junior Blake Roubos, together with his brother, Bailey Roubos and friend from boarding school, Harris Allen, founded his own startup company, DroneHub Media. DroneHub, a videography company specializing in aerial cinematography, recently received a $150,000 investment for 15 percent equity in DroneHub, which put it at a million-dollar evaluation.
Roubos and his team work with clients in major cities to film luxury real estate, golf course, corporate and hotel videos. “We are very excited with the recent purchase of a Red Epic cinema camera which will go on our new ALTA 6 drone,” said Roubos. “That setup is around $70,000, but is already getting us work with large news networks, movies and jobs with professional sports teams.”
When asked what makes his startup unique, Roubos stated, “What sets us apart from our competitors is that we have the best equipment, deliver great quality work and our 333 exemption that allows us to do commercial drone work. With our partnership we have a wonderful new office and editing suite in Appleton.” Coordinator of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program and Lecturer of Economics Gary T. Vaughan points out that Roubos’ main clients are realtors.
Before DroneHub Media, Roubos, an economics major, participated in Lawrence’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) interdisciplinary area. “I am very happy to be at Lawrence, through the Innovation and Entrepreneurship program with professors like Adam Galambos and Gary Vaughan because it has inspired me to be an entrepreneur and has allowed me to connect with the right people in the area,” commented Roubos.
Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professor of Innovation and Associate Professor of Economics Adam Galambos added that being in the I&E program does not necessarily mean students have to come out with a start-up company like Roubos. He said, “It is actually not a goal for students in I&E to start a company and usually that would not happen, but if it does, we do our best to provide support. Our goal is to encourage an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset in whatever students do.” This mindset has helped students majoring in physics, art and economics, to name a few.
I&E’s courses were developed by a group of ten faculty members from half a dozen departments and became an interdisciplinary area last year. Currently, there are 24 students in the program.
Galambos talks about the history of innovation and entrepreneurship. “I am interested in both subjects academically, but I am also very interested in bringing innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset to Lawrence. I think that the ability to think innovatively and entrepreneurially in anything you do will be very powerful,” he commented. Vaughan talks about how to develop a prototype and use practical applications and feasibility of specific prototypes. Vaughan said he “brings practical opportunity and years of experience in business to the table.” Vaughan’s focus has changed from business startups to sustainable business models. “I like helping non-profit businesses. When we are looking at I&E in Lawrence we are looking at sustainable business models,” he commented.
When asked to explain why I&E is not a major, Galambos replied, “Innovation and Entrepreneurship is not meant to replace anything, it is meant to enhance everything. I believe students will benefit from taking a course or two in I&E that will help them to pursue whatever their dreams are.” Vaughan added that I&E is for “students who would not necessarily think of themselves as innovators in their specific field and being able to embrace that.” This sums up how Blake Roubos turned his passion into reality.
Roubos is also searching for more talents and looking forward to expanding his company.