By NetWork Kansas
Nick Flores is a senior at Wichita High School East. He competed in the 2017-2018 YEC Series and won first place in his local competition with his business, Kestrel Aerial LLC. In April 2018, he took first place in at the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge State Championship. Below he talks about how this program has influenced him as an entrepreneur.
Q: Describe your business and how it's grown since participating in the YEC Series.
A: "Kestrel Aerial provides high quality drone photography. Even though school as well as college applications and standardized testing has occupied much of my time, I've found time to move the business farther forward. During the summer I sourced some materials. With the funds that the YEC Series and KEC so graciously awarded I was able to purchase a company vehicle and an additional camera. These were the two items that I told the judges that I needed most, so I am very glad to have their funding. I have been learning Java and I am in the middle of developing some proprietary software to process the agricultural data. I've been using my new gear to travel to filming locations and work on some projects that I can add to my portfolio."
Q: What were your key takeaways from participating?
A: "It was a huge leap for me to realize that my ideas were worth something and that other people can share in the same vision that I have. The skills that I learned from preparing and competing have proved to be useful when applying for a new job, applying for scholarships, not to mention in furthering my business. The YEC Series and KEC gave me the confidence to move forward and take my business education to the next level. I've been inspired to take up internships and research business topics like never before."
Q: What are your plans to grow your business in the future?
A: "I've been taking some exciting steps in the past week or so. Now that most of my college related work is out of the way, I've been able to focus on what I'm really passionate about. I've been reaching out to my network to meet and talk about some new software ideas. I'm using Java for the back end of a database program that will take the raw agricultural map data and turn it into something more useful. Meeting with farmers, I realize that more digestible data is a must. A farmer could know how much of every nutrient every plant has, but would not be able to help their cause unless the software gives them direction. Hopefully we can help to take the guesswork out of the agricultural industry."
You can view the Kestrel Aerial Instagram here.