The following feature is Part 2 in a two-part series telling the unique story of Jordan Nelson – a Millennial-aged entrepreneur whose success story is rooted in the Blue Ridge Mountains region. A version of this article first appeared in High Country Magazine. Part 1 appears here.
From Hobbyist to Entrepreneur
Six years ago, the commercial drone industry had been around a handful of years. However, most folks viewed the word as a negative – conjuring mental images of unmanned military vehicles bombing civilians. The commercial industry mostly used rotor vehicles (think four rotor copters) rather than the small fixed-wing planes used in warfare.
However, as time passed, people began to see that drone technology had a non-lethal, economic future. As drones became more commonplace, Jordan saw opportunity as clients began to find him.
“It got to the point that I had clients request stuff in the middle of the week,” he said. “It was becoming more frequent. I needed to use vacation days to do the work.”
Even as Jordan continued his work at Appalachian…