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UO Business: The Magazine, Summer 2017

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Page 32 of 35

S E C T I O N L UNDQU I S T C OL L E GE OF BUS I NE S S 33 A L U M N I Evans saw the need for a system to manage low airspace to avoid drone collisions and keep the people below safe. Evans and Ringer joined forces for Skyward after the students took associate professor of finance Stephen McKeon's core finance course. McKeon, researcher and computer scientist Dana Maher '12, and pilot Jake Weber, joined Evans and Ringer to form Skyward. Investors saw the value Skyward represented and from 2014 to 2016 contributed a total of $8.15 million to the venture, according to Crunchbase, a business data analysis platform. Evans currently serves as co-president, Ringer as senior product manager, and Maher as platform architect. Matt Fanelli, JD/MBA '14, one of Evans' and Ringer's MBA classmates, serves as director of strategy. Other Ducks at Skyward include Rebecca Wilson, senior content strategist; Neil Calvert, junior QA engineer; and Alyce Bofferding, customer success specialist. These days professor McKeon says he is not heavily involved with the company other than being their "biggest cheerleader." He believes Skyward has nowhere to go but up. "With Verizon's resources and Skyward's position as a thought leader in aerial robotics, they have the opportunity to change the course of history," he said. "If they continue to execute, Skyward could become one of the most important startups ever to be born at UO."

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