Agriculture Americas

Ag industry takes notice of Wilsonville drone maker


Wendy Culverwell

A year after receiving $150,000 from Oregon BEST and the Portland Development Commission, Wilsonville startup HoneyComb Corp. is adding staff and attracting attention from some of the biggest names in the agriculture industry.

The drone maker has grown from its three original founders to 17 full-time employees and raised $1 million in funding. It has also won attention from John Deere and Case-New Holland, which together operate more than 3,000 dealerships selling agricultural-related gear to farmers. Both are interested in selling HoneyComb’s fixed-wing drones at their dealerships nationwide, according to Oregon BEST.

CEO Ryan Jenson credits Oregon BEST, the agency responsible for promoting Oregon’s cleantech sector, with recognizing its potential early on. In the intervening year, awareness is soaring about the potential for aerial surveys by unmanned aircraft to improve management of farms and forests.

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