The drone surge looms, and COVID-19 is hastening its arrival. A look at how drone startups in three categories — medical, consumer supply and software — are shaping the space. Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico spurred one startup.
HUBVER — Drone delivery automation for uninterrupted supply chain
Castro Quilles started developing the concept alongside fellow technology innovators at Singularity University, where Hubvery was incubated. His company, which also received support from Nvidia Inception incubator program in 2019, currently has a leadership team of four with plans to hire after an initial round of funding.
The inspiration for Hubvery (a mashup of the words “hub” and “delivery”) came to Castro Quilles in 2018 after Hurricane Maria ravaged his native Puerto Rico. Ensuing landslides left many communities isolated and cut off from relief for days.
“I thought, ‘Well, if this happens in a small island in the Caribbean that belongs to the U.S., what do you think happens in the rest of the world, people that are way less fortunate? They die waiting for their stuff, right?’ And that’s how, eventually, that idea turned into a project, then turned into a service, and then turned into a product,” Castro Quilles said.
Castro Quilles sees Hubvery as filling an essential gap that currently exists in the supply chain, particularly when it comes to serving hard-to-reach areas that suffer from a paucity of retail or shipping options. If customers need a product right away, they wouldn’t find themselves out of luck if the nearest merchant open for business was too far away or if a courier or shipper was unavailable.