RALEIGHPrecisionHawk’s CEO Michael Chasen has just been tapped to be the chairman of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC).

It’s a position that comes with much clout and recognition. However, this 40-something rising star isn’t about to rest on his laurels.

As head of one of the fastest-growing drone tech startups in the Triangle, his firm is seeing “over 100 percent plus growth” year on year. And it’s just the beginning, he says.

“This industry is really starting to take off,” he told WRAL TechWire. “We hired 100 people just in Q1.”

By all accounts, PrecisionHawk, founded right here in Raleigh in 2010, is hoping to position itself as a market leader.

The firm raised a whopping $75 million alone last year – more than tripling what it had previously raised – and acquired two energy firms, Hazon and InspecTools.

It now plans to move into a bigger space above Raleigh’s Milk Bar and increase its workforce to more than 350 by the year’s end.

So far, even in this tight labor market, finding talent hasn’t been a problem, says Chasen. The company has successfully been able to recruit top candidates from the local pool. It has also set up an online network of drone pilots that it has been able to use as a feeder for projects.

“Between the region and our website, we get a lot of great leads.”

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However, when pressed about his long-term growth strategy and plans for any future acquisitions, Chasen remained coy.

“Nothing in the short term, but we’re always looking for ways to grow, internally and externally. Acquisitions are always part of our strategy.”

The same appeared true for any new fundraising campaigns.

“We’re always looking for additional capital at the right time,” he said. “I would never put it off the table.”

In the meantime, he remains “focused on executing on the opportunity that’s in front of us.”

“I wake up every day making sure that, hey, do we have enough pilots to be able to work with these clients? Are we able to get this data and build out our machine learning and AI capabilities?”

He says his appointment as DAC’s chairman only confirms the growing stature of the company: “It goes to show that PrecisionHawk is recognized as a leader in the space.”

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