What do you do? 

I developed a process through which batteries or AC can power a tethered drone equipped with high-intensity LED lighting for extended periods of time. The invention - patent pending - enables electricity to flow through the tethered wire system powering both the drone and the LED lighting.

What inspired you to start your business? 

Playing volleyball with my children became impossible at night, so instead of putting in a fixed light on a pole, I decided to use a drone to illuminate the court. However, the battery requirement to keep the drone up for extended periods necessitated a heavier drone platform. So, I designed a process where ground-based batteries could power both the drone and the high-intensity LCD fixtures. Light directly over the volleyball court also produced a higher quality light source.

What's special about your business? 

Illuminating an area during nighttime activities equates to safety. Applications for PegaPod include nighttime construction, police emergency activities, CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) work at night, etc.

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner? 

The high points for me are seeing people enjoying lighted activities enabled by the product. Additionally, I have greatly enjoyed the personal interactions which have resulted from the business pursuit. The low points included early unforeseen technological challenges and slower than desired progress.

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner? 

Taking a business from an idea to being sustainably profitable is hard. I love the challenges and love people that I meet along the way.

What is your relationship with SCORE? 
SCORE volunteer
What influenced you to seek help from SCORE? 

I became aware of SCORE Southern Maryland through the Black Entrepreneur Pitch Event and I requested a mentor to assist me in fine-tuning my PowerPoint Presentation. My presentation was well received at the contest. That morphed into my SCORE mentor assisting me in writing a formalized business plan. Additional SCORE help included having a session with a patent attorney mentor for guidance on filing a patent for my invention. Subsequently, I began working with another mentor with experience in new business development.

How SCORE helped. 

The Mentors at SCORE have been instrumental in assisting PegaPod to build out a critical path for a soft business launch. The pathway to launch SCORE Mentors has provided (so far) has included guidance in diverse areas: PowerPoint presentations, writing formal business plans, provisional patent filing, and identifying distribution channels. Subject matter expertise has been exceptional with 5 SCORE Mentors contributing to my business.

What's great about my mentor? 

My interactions with the highly professional SCORE mentors have been 100% positive. Each offered valuable suggestions based on their extensive experience. John and Ed both helped to refine the strategy and presentation. Tom has been a true champion and has put me in contact with the right people including Bob Rotella.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 

If you are passionate about an idea that is or could be profitable, can make the time, and are willing to work hard for it, then find a SCORE mentor and go for it!

Randall Bostick
Randall Bostick testing pegapod