This summer, the Dingman Center will be conducting interviews with the 12 student startups who are participating in our virtual Terp Startup summer accelerator. Participating student entrepreneurs received a stipend up to $5,000 that would enable them to work exclusively on their startups over eight weeks in the summer.
Founders: Joshua Ermias ’20, Vincent Jaugan ’21, Patrick Crowe
DC: Tell us about your startup. What problem are you solving and for whom?
Ermias: Door Robotics is a 360-camera indoor capable drone company based in Maryland. An expensive problem that real estate photographers and content creators have is the amount of time it takes to complete a job. We set out to provide an autonomous solution that combined 360 cameras and drones. The vision for our drone is to have a Roomba-like functionality and follow-me feature that optimizes the capture of quality video/photo shots with a 360 view.
DC: How did you first come up with your idea?
Ermias: Initially, I came up with the idea when I was first working on drones, cameras, and 360 footage. My friend had asked me to help him make a 360 app while I was working on a drone project. I put the camera I had on the drone and realized that it added a unique perspective. At the time, there were no other drones that could do something like this, and I was inspired to dive into the startup world.
DC: What are some major milestones you’ve achieved so far?
Ermias: We have five renditions of a prototype, $90,000 in raised funds, and purchase agreements signed. With the most recent prototype, we shot a virtual tour of an apartment that can be found on our website, http://www.doorrobotics.com!
DC: What drives you to keep going?
Ermias: The future is bright for Door Robotics and knowing that this technology will further the innovation and creativity of others is inspiring. Holistically, we anticipate continuing developing systems and software to the point of drone commonality.
DC: How do you feel about working in a cohort with fellow student entrepreneurs?
Ermias: I welcome the developing connections with my student counterparts and hope to fully immerse myself in this mentoring opportunity. I have been extremely motivated and happy to finally be around a group of like-minded individuals. It is great to ask each other questions and a lot of material we are learning has already been implemented. The same week we learned about smart goals, I incorporated that data directly into our business plan that we sent to investors and mentors.
DC: What are you hoping to achieve during Terp Startup this summer?
Ermias: My primary goal is to digest as much knowledge from the cohort and mentors as possible. Everything that I have been exposed to has provided Door Robotics with a clearer path to launching. Therefore, I expect to achieve a working demo while optimizing how we position ourselves in the market and to potential investors and customers.