New Players and Partners at DroneUp
Some Walmart customers may be looking to the skies for their next online order delivery, thanks in part to Virginia Beach-based DroneUp, an automated drone delivery platform and drone services provider. The company, founded in 2016 by Tom Walker, announced late last year the first multi-site commercial drone delivery operations to be implemented at three Walmart stores in Arkansas, operating daily and delivering items by air in as little as 30 minutes.
The company also recently acquired AirMap, Inc., a digital airspace and automation company serving the global aerospace economy. And, in February of this year, DroneUp announced that they had appointed Eric Grubman, former executive vice president of the National Football League and current chairman of SGHC Limited (“SGHC,” or “Super Group”), as the company’s new chairman of the board.
“I strongly believe in technology’s capacity to improve people’s lives,” Grubman said in a press release. “Drone operations have proven to be value-added in advancing safe and reliable options for consumers, patients and business organizations. I believe DroneUp has the ability to drive a set of worldwide industry standards, enabling a variety of autonomous services, including inter-modal delivery, inspection and many other everyday needs.
Index AR Solutions Joins CEWD
Williamsburg-based Index AR Solutions is among a variety of local companies utilizing augmented reality (AR) technology to provide educational and other solutions for its clients (see our feature story in this issue for more). The Williamsburg-based company established in 2014, creates digital workforce training including eBooks and augmented reality mobile applications provider designed to improve worker safety and productivity.
Index AR Solutions recently announced that it had joined the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) as an Associate Member, supporting the organization’s objective to build a skilled and diverse workforce pipeline. Index is one of CEWD’s first three Associate Members along with professional services firm Accenture and DitchWitch, a provider of underground utility construction equipment. Formed in March 2006, the CEWD is a non-profit consortium of electric, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy companies, and their associations, committed to the development of a skilled, diverse energy workforce.
A Home Away from the Hospital
While many cities, including Norfolk, continue to grapple with how best to address the rise of short-term vacation rental properties, local developer Luciano Rizzo has established one designed to fill a niche need. Housed in a remodeled erstwhile medical office in Ghent, the “Rosalie” has four contemporary one-bedroom, hotel-like short-term rental apartments offering comforts and amenities with medical professionals in mind—such as doctors, nurses and medical students who may be visiting to work or study at Norfolk’s nearby health care campus and need accommodations that feel more like home than a hotel.
Located on Redgate Avenue, the Rosalie is “a home away from home, complete with a separate bedroom and fully equipped kitchen,” says Rizzo, CEO of Travila, the company that developed it and plans to offer more “short-term accommodations for traveling professionals.” Each suite includes full-sized appliances, cabinets, silverware, dishes and a Keurig. “It’s primarily designed for a doctor or nurse associated with Eastern Virginia Medical School, Sentara Norfolk General, or Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters who must be close by those facilities for one night, a few days or a week,” Rizzo says.