Kelowna-based Beyond Aerospace facilitates the integration of complex machinery in a multi-vendor environment, delivering a true “System-of-Systems” software platform. The startup plans to leverage this platform to enable Beyond Visual Line of Sight operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Their network infrastructure provides seamless command and control of autonomous systems with global coverage.
“Don’t do it alone, build a team that complements your strengths and weaknesses.” – CEO Mike Ball’s favourite piece of startup advice
Beyond Aerospace was incorporated in early 2016 by engineers Mike Ball, Don Kriel, and business executive Peter Carides. Their vision was to capitalize on major technology trends that they see evolving over the coming decades, including IoT, Machine-to-Machine communication and autonomous systems.
“These trends were well aligned with the passion, capability and experience of our founding team, and we were lucky enough to cross paths at just the right time,” comments Mike.
Widespread applications for unmanned aircraft
What can unmanned aircraft do? The applications are widespread. They enable the cost-effective delivery of services for the public, while also reducing costs for businesses. In addition, the technology allows opens up opportunities for the development of Provincial/National aerospace infrastructure, Canadian Intellectual Property, and high-tech employment.
The Beyond Aerospace team has successfully operated in the satellite industry, delivering end-to-end managed network services, primarily to Fortune 100 and US Government Customers. Their combined experience in the aviation sector is also unique, in that they are accustomed to providing mission-critical software and communication services directly to the end-user.
When asked how the startup compares to the competition, Mike emphasizes their integrative edge.
“The level of integration of our platform within our clients’ operations, both from a technical and regulatory perspective, makes us indispensable. Our platform is extendable and extensible, supporting a wide range of applications and monetization options,” he says.
Mentorship has also played a key role in Mike’s development as an engineer, and as a CEO. While he hasn’t taken part in an accelerator program, he has had the opportunity to receive valuable advice along his entrepreneurial journey.
“Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with many incredible engineers, managers and entrepreneurs. Their passion, skill and integrity helped formulate both my technical foundation and management philosophy, and put me in a position to execute on my vision for Beyond Aerospace” he says.
While Mike mentions his biggest source of pride has been to successfully balance work ambitions with family life, like many of us, he mentions that his most challenging obstacle to date has been figuring out when to say no, so that he can focus on what is most important.
About Beyond Aerospace
Peter Carides, Chairman
Peter has a proven track record delivering broadband satellite communications to Fortune 100 businesses and the US Department of Defense, with emphasis on product development, service delivery and mission critical software applications. He has multiple global successes in start-ups, turnarounds, M&A.
Mike Ball, CEO
Mike is an experienced manager and engineer, leading the delivery of connectivity and data management services to the aviation industry on a global scale. Accountable for systems integration, network management, software development and compliance.
Dion Kriel, CTO
Dion is a senior systems engineer with 30 years’ leadership and hands-on experience in systems research and development, including embedded satellite communications, underwater acoustics and synthetic aperture radar.