A high flying idea from an NIU alumna

NIU OM&IS alumna Suzanne El-Moursi had a high flying idea that’s taken off. So much so, Crain’s Chicago Business ran a story on her fourth startup company, Uplift Data Partners, which utilizes drone technology to deliver aerial insights to the construction industry.

The following excerpt was taken from the Crain’s story:  “This startup’s drones are saving construction companies truckloads of money.”

“We are an A-to-Z turnkey solution,” says El-Moursi, 40, CEO of Uplift Data Partners and newly named general manager for construction and facilities management at PrecisionHawk, which acquired her startup in November. “We have authorizations prefiled across all the major airports and do-not-fly areas.” Uplift’s staff of 12 is composed of analysts, engineers and client success managers, supplemented by nearly 600 pilots across all 50 states.

Since its start, Uplift’s numbers have, well, soared. El-Moursi says Uplift Data saved one client $300,000 by finding a misalignment in the piping and pouring of a building’s foundation. The error was caught when the drone’s aerial images were overlaid on the building’s blueprints. Just a few years ago, this type of discovery from aerial data would have been possible only with helicopter flyovers, which are infrequent due to their $20,000-plus cost. A drone flyover provides closer, clearer pictures for $350.

Click through to the complete Crain’s story.

Michelle De Jean, Director of Marketing, NIU College of Business.  Photo from Crain’s story; photo credit:  Kendall Karmanian


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