Join Us! Florida Companies to Watch Awards Celebration
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Hard Rock Live, Universal CityWalk, Orlando, FL
Individual Ticket: $150.00 each | Corporate groups of 10 or more $140.00 each
RSVP by October 24, 2019
60% Job Growth
FLYMOTION was founded in early 2014 by Ryan English (CEO) and David Stratchko (Vice-President). Both men come from over 30+ years combined experience in emergency response and public safety operations. Mr. English was an active-duty member of the U.S. Coast Guard involved in drug and migrant interdiction in the Caribbean and Florida Straits. After his time in the Coast Guard Mr. English joined Hillsborough County Fire Rescue located in Tampa, FL working as a Firefighter/Paramedic. He later went on to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in which he spent over eight years assigned to the SWAT Team prior to starting FLYMOTION. Mr. Stratchko was hired by the City of Tampa working as a Firefighter/Paramedic. Mr. Stratchko had spent over a decade in the fire service prior to co-founding FLYMOTION. This depth of knowledge and understanding by both individuals and the entire FLYMOTION team has allowed them to successfully integrate unmanned systems and related technologies into public safety, government and defense. The knowledge of daily operations in emergency response has provided them a unique perspective on which to discover new technologies and effectively communicate the value to others in the community.
FLYMOTION’s team has been providing the public safety, government and defense community with unmanned systems and end to end technology solutions since its inception. We carry a strong understanding of the technology and legal framework surrounding unmanned systems. Our involvement in the unmanned industry since the early days of sUAS (small unmanned aerial systems) has provided us with a vast number of contacts and resources throughout the drone industry worldwide. It is safe to say that FLYMOTION maintains strong working relationships with many of the manufacturers/businesses involved in the unmanned community.
Constant Innovation and Decades of Experience Allows FLYMOTION to Reach New Heights
Ever since he could remember, Ryan English was always an entrepreneur. From mowing lawns in the summer to snow blowing driveways in the winter, he always expressed the qualities of a business owner.
“I thoroughly enjoy innovation,” he said. “It’s important to continue trying to push the envelope which is what I like about entrepreneurship; it allows you to create your own destiny.”
After spending over 15 years in public safety, English decided it was time to pursue his passion of innovation and entrepreneurship—and so, FLYMOTION was born.
Founded in 2014, FLYMOTION is an industry leading end-to-end drone technology and solutions provider, with a core focus around unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology. They work with numerous verticals to include public safety, government agencies, private organizations, and defense.
“We are a complete solutions provider which allows us to provide everything from training, hardware, software, system integration, mobile command vehicles, and more. It allows our customers to have one central point of contact to facilitate their complete technology implementation,” English said.
With innovation at his core, English has put FLYMOTION on the map orchestrating the first ever large-scale drone response to a natural disaster and setting the precedence for future disaster response globally. During Hurricane Irma, FLYMOTION deployed 22 drone flight teams throughout the state of Florida for 14 days. They completed over 650 missions covering 550 miles.
Their innovative insight allowed them to develop and build the first ever mobile drone command centers and a portable network/communications kit referred to as the Mission Case that can be deployed in the most stringent environments, giving first responders mission-critical data in real-time.
In March 2019, FLYMOTION also hosted the industry’s first fully immersive real-world scenario-based training conference of its kind, the Unmanned Tactical Application Conference (UTAC). This conference allowed attendees from local, state, federal agencies, and the Department of Defense to participate in training that simulates the pressures of real-world operations by utilizing the latest unmanned drone technology.
Keeping a Competitive Edge
Not only has English’s response to natural disasters and advanced training opportunities set the bar for other competitors in the market, but their edge also lies in the skills and experience of his staff.
Their two founders have over 30 years’ combined experience in law enforcement, fire rescue, special operations, and military making them experienced in real world operations, which enables them to understand how drone technology and innovative solutions can be utilized.
“Prior to founding FLYMOTION, I spent nearly 20 years in public safety as a firefighter/paramedic, a deputy sheriff, a member of the SWAT team and an active duty member of the U.S. Coast Guard,” English said. “Most of our staff comes from public safety, government, and military, so we have a very thorough understanding of our customer base having been operational for many years.”
Coming with decades of experience in the markets they directly serve has allowed FLYMOTION to truly understand the needs and challenges of their clients.
“It also allows us to innovate new technologies into their operations having come from the same background as our customers,” he said. “We have first-hand knowledge so we’re looking at it not as this is how they’ll benefit from our technologies, but rather, this is how we know they’ll benefit.”
Overcoming Challenges and Looking toward the Future
Since 2014, English has discovered the greatest challenge in growing his business is helping his customers understand how beneficial the technologies will be once utilized in their operations.
“The initial challenge we experienced was educating people on the technology and how they would use it. We were very visionary in the sense that we knew how they would use it, but it was new and innovative technology,” he said. “Trying to get them to understand how they would implement it and change their daily processes was initially challenging.”
As he continues to overcome the challenges he faces, English is hoping to expand FLYMOTION’s international footprint across many verticals.
“In May 2019, we just announced our international expansion into the Latin American market,” he said. “We’re looking to continue along the growth path that we have been on and continue positioning ourselves as the industry leader now in a new market.”
FLYMOTION’s Company Culture
From the very beginning of the hiring process, it’s important to English to hire based on an applicant’s character rather than degrees, resumes, and previous work experience. This sets the tone for FLYMOTION’s company culture, which is built on inclusiveness, personal progress, freedom of opinion, and a family-like feel.
“Once a month we have an employee appreciation activity and we collectively do some type of group activity, like swing clubs at Top Golf or race Go Karts. At the end of the day, yes, it’s work, but you spend a lot of time with the people you work with,” he said. “We’ve created a strong bond with each other.”
What It Means to Be an Honoree
As a 2019 Florida Companies to Watch Honoree, FLYMOTION was selected to join 50 of the top second-stage companies in the state based on their innovation, growth, and impact.
“We’re extremely honored and I think it really shows how FLYMOTION is growing to become a global market leader and being recognized by GrowFL for that is definitely exciting,” he said.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
“I think the biggest thing is to take that first step forward,” English said. “That’s the biggest challenge for people, they’re afraid to take a risk. My advice is always to take that initial step, explore that unknown territory, and keep pushing forward. Do not give up.”
Notable Community Involvement
FLYMOTION is active in various organizations in their community like the Florida Sheriff’s Association, Florida Police Chief’s Association, Tampa Fire Rescue Foundation, and the Pasco-Hernando State College Aviation Advisory Committee.
Their team has participated in numerous STEM events throughout the area, giving students a firsthand look at the latest unmanned technologies. By doing this, they hope to steer students into learning more about unmanned aviation, which will help enable their future workforce.