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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Aonghus Stevens, NSW (b. 1993)
Name: Aonghus Stevens
Age: 17 (Born: 1993)
Aonghus Stevens might be too young to get more than a learners’ permit, but his business resume is already soaring higher than many people twice his age.
Stevens is the sole owner of UAVs Australia, a two-year-old company that provides all manner of remote-controlled aircraft to clients ranging from farmers to the Australian Federal Police. The scale-sized planes and whirlybirds use video and GPS technology to conduct aerial mapping, inspection and reconnaissance.
All this at age 17 (Stevens turns 18 in December), which makes him the youngest star in this year’s 30under30 firmament.
Stevens didn’t take to the skies because of a starry-eyed love of flight. Rather, it was the result of steely-eyed research as he looked for an under-developed market where he could work his entrepreneurial mojo — and use startup funds from his own private investment firm, Three Step Enterprises. (Did we mention that Stevens is only 17?)
He decided unmanned aircraft would be his vehicle. “I realised its potential, especially in the Australian marketplace,” Stevens said. “I built it out, expanding a country at a time.”
The company has assembled a smorgasbord of aerial gadgetry — “over 80 solutions that can be tailored to any client.” One of his main targets is agriculture. Unmanned aircraft can determine yield before a harvest, measure heat stress in crops for irrigation adjustments, and perform 3D mapping of fields.
Filmmakers uses Stevens’ high-tech birds for movie and TV features. He was recently in talks with the police force in Islamabad, Pakistan, for 20 flying machines. Another outfit that Stevens describes only as “international military” wants 20 units for “anti-terrorist operations.” He says that by the end of the next fiscal year, “I should have approximately $1.5 million.”
And, remember, he’s not even old enough to vote.
Aonghus Stevens on building buzz for his business:
I have spent over $1000 on Google advertising but mainly, I work on business relationships. I sow seeds in people’s minds about what is possible and how much better their business could be if they utilised UAVs .
Onboard video from UAVs
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.