Editor’s note: Each Thursday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Startup Talk,” a round-up of startup, technology and entrepreneurial news.
U.S. DRONE MARKET TO GROW AT AN ANNUAL RATE OF MORE THAN 25% OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS
According to a recently published report by TechSci Research, a well-defined regulatory framework coupled with increasing adoption of drones in commercial applications is projected to drive the U.S. market for commercial drones at an annual growth rate of 25.11% between 2016 and 2021.
In 2015, about 45 states in the U.S. considered 168 bills pertaining to drones and 26 regulations have been passed by 20 states including Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
Apart from these states, another five states that have adopted regulations pertaining to drones in the U.S. include Georgia, New Mexico, Alaska, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.
SAUDI ARAMCO’S INVESTMENT ARM MAKES ANOTHER STARTUP INVESTMENT IN THE ENERGY SECTOR
Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV), which took a $10 million stake in April in Springdale-based NanoMech, has closed on another round of investment with a $2.6 million capital outlay to Geomec Holding AS, a subsurface injection services in Stavenger, Norway that provides subsurface injection services oil and gas companies worldwide.
The investment arm of Saudi Aramco, the deep-pocket state-owned national oil company of Saudi Arabia and world’s most valuable company, has been upping its investments in the U.S. and other global companies tied to the energy industry. On April 1, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made public plans to create a $2 trillion investment fund to seek global investment opportunities for the Middle East country, wean the oil-rich kingdom from its dependence on crude oil, and partly privatize the national oil company within two years.
Saudi Aramco’s investment in Springdale-based NanoMech kicked off the Arkansas startup’s Series C Financing round, which is helping to accelerate the company’s manufacturing, sales and product development.
GOV. HUTCHINSON CONTINUES PUSH FOR COMPUTER CODING, SEEKS TO CREATE DEMAND FOR EDUCATORS
Gov. Hutchinson is touting his computer coding initiative among his target audience: students. He began his “Governor’s Coding Tour” Monday with visits to Benton and Bryant, visited Manila Tuesday, and will be at Spring Hill near Hope on Wednesday. Hutchinson pushed during his 2014 campaign for governor a requirement that all Arkansas high schools offer a computer science course, his inspiration being his 11-year-old granddaughter who wrote a smartphone application for his campaign. Hutchinson told the assembled students that computer coding is a path to a good-paying job, saying that 1 million jobs are expected to be unfilled in computer science in the coming years. Read more here.