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UAS Cluster Initiative newsletter
  January 23, 2024

America's Seed Fund (SBIR/STTR) Virtual Road Tour;
OK Catalyst, Oklahoma's SBIR/STTR Experts;
Rethink Vertical Podcast with Toni Drummond, Prestige Air Group;

America's Seed Fund (SBIR/STTR) Virtual Road Tour
January 23 - 25, 2024

Don't miss this week's America's Seed Fund Road Tour. This is a three-day virtual learning experience, to deepen your understanding of America's Seed Fund - the nation's largest source of nondilutive funding for high-growth startups and small businesses. The road tour is also a valuable opportunity to connect directly with federal agency representatives who represent its competitive Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (SBIR/STTR) funding opportunities.

America's Seed Fund Week 2024 has new programming elements for attendees, including interactive ‘Meet the Program Director' sessions based on technology area, SBA Core Content panels with agency representatives, networking spaces, and a chance to meet the 2024 in-person Road Tour hosts.

To find out more about this virtual event, along with the 16 in person local events scheduled in 2024, go to

To register for the virtual event, go to

OK Catalyst, Oklahoma's SBIR/STTR Experts.

OK Catalyst, in the Tom Love Innovation Hub, assists researchers and entrepreneurs win seed funding to launch new products and grow their business. OK Catalyst provides no-cost training and mentorship programs help SBIR/STTR candidates find funding opportunities and prepare a competitive proposal.

For more information go to

If you are a Native American-owned business seeking non-dilutive funding opportunities to support development of innovative technologies, Join OK Catalyst and Tribal Government Institute APEX Accelerator for a webinar to learn more about fostering innovation through SBIR funding on Jan. 25, 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM. Register for this event at

Rethink Vertical Podcast with Toni Drummond, Prestige Air Group.

In the latest episode of the Rethink Vertical Podcast, Craig Mahaney, the Executive Director of the UAS Cluster Initiative, talks with Toni Drummond. Toni is a Partner at Prestige Air Group and BrainTrust IQ. Named as a 2023 Woman to Watch in Emerging Aviation, she is an industry expert focusing on emerging, advanced and future air mobility.

In this podcast Craig and Toni discuss the differences between advanced air mobility aircraft development verses operations, including what it will take to put fleets into service for paying customers.

Listen to this latest and previous podcasts at: Rethink Vertical Podcast .
Find out more about the Prestrige Group at their website:

UASCI is creating an environment where unmanned aviation startups can thrive, connect with innovative networks, access global capital, discover national technologies and learn from proven tech industry leaders.

The UAS Cluster Initiative is funded in part through a Contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed within this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

Questions or comments regarding Newsletter, contact Jack James at
UAS in the News
Native American tribes are making a big economic impact in Tulsa
Native American tribes in Oklahoma have poured more than $15.6 billion into the state, while generating billions more from companies that support the tribes' business operations, according to the most recent Oklahoma Native Impact report (fiscal...

Expanding Horizons: Choctaw Nation's BEYOND Program Receives Expanded BVLOS Authorization
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma BEYOND program recently announced that it had received an expanded beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) use authorization from the FAA, expanding the original waiver to include an approximately 43-mile long area...
Upcoming Industry Events
Dronesponders: National Public Safety UAS Conference 2024
Mar. 12 - Mar. 13, 2024
Williamsburg, VA

Apr. 3, 2024
Oklahoma City, OK

Xponential 2024
Apr. 22 - Apr. 25, 2024
San Diego, CA

2024 Energy Drone & Robotics Summit
Jun. 10 - Jun. 12, 2024
Houston, TX

First Advanced Air Mobility Symposium (AAM 2024)
Sept. 9 - Sept. 12, 2024
Montréal, Canada
Policy News
Beyond the Hype: Reassessing the Drone Narrative for Security and Sanctions
sUAS News | 01/16/2024
It's high time we address a glaring issue in the drone industry – the disproportionate influence of 'drone evangelists' funded by companies like DJI (aka "surfer drone dudes").

Court Ruling on Police Drone Footage: A Shift in Public Record Norms
dronelife | 01/09/2024
California Appellate Court's Decision Impacts Public Access to Police Drone Footage
Industry Headlines
Match Made in Heaven: Drones and AI
innovate energy | 01/21/2024
In recent years, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) with drone technology has ushered in a new era of innovation across diverse industries. This powerful combination is reshaping traditional practices and opening up new possibilities...

Revolutionizing Agriculture: How Advanced Drones are Cultivating Sustainable Farming Practices
dronelife | 01/17/2024
Over the past several years, drones have played an increasingly important role in ensuring that farmers can maintain high crop yields in an environmentally sustainable manner, the CEO of agricultural drone company Hylio said in an interview.

Drones in Disaster Response: Harnessing the Potential of Unmanned Aerial Systems
dronelife | 01/16/2024
The Role of Drone Technology in Crisis Management and its Impact on Communities

U.S. tech companies prepare for potential drone attacks as international strikes spark concern
NBC News | 01/14/2024
U.S. tech companies and government agencies are racing to develop defenses against potential terrorist drone attacks, a threat that has security experts increasingly concerned as they've watched the rise of drone warfare in Israel, Ukraine and Yemen.

Wing and Walmart continue to expand service to millions of customers in Dallas-Fort Worth, amid new Dallas-wide FAA approvals
sUAS News | 01/10/2024
Wing and Walmart are expanding service to millions of customers, leveraging Wing's airspace approvals that facilitate service across the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) community.

4045 NW 64th St, Suite 405, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 |


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