“Jonathan started a software business called Skyward and eventually sold to a large company. This interview has twists and turns that include insights into the “hype cycle” and why you want to sell before it ends,” shares Sam Thompson a Minneapolis business broker and president of M&A firm Transitions In Business. “There are many great nuggets that Jonathan shares including why you want to be negotiating with the right person”.
Jonathan Evans was an air ambulance helicopter pilot when he started to think about how drones could safely navigate the sky around him. Commercial pilots had rules of the sky, but there were no guidelines for drones despite companies from Amazon to Walmart beginning to experiment with using drones.
Evans decided to start a software company called Skyward with a vision to create the “rules of the air” for drones, laying out a set of “digital train tracks” to bring order to the chaos beginning to emerge above us.
Evans eventually raised $8 million from various investors, including from telecommunications giant Verizon’s venture capital arm. Verizon knew intelligent drones would need to be connected to the internet to use Skyward software, so they were keen to own a piece of Evan’s company.
Verizon was so desperate to control Skyward that when Evans received a call from aerospace giant Airbus about a possible collaboration, Verizon dispatched their corporate development team within hours to turn their investment into an outright acquisition of Skyward.
Evan’s story has a lot of entertaining twists and turns through which you will learn:
- About the hype cycle and why you want to sell before it ends
- How to test the loyalty of your COO
- Why feeling a sense of “impostor’s syndrome” is typical for founders
- What a “bridge to the middle of the lake” investment is
- Why you should never negotiate with a corporate development representative from a Fortune 500 company
- Why Evans uses the word “sociopath” to describe some professional investors