In Kelowna, Mike Ball and the Beyond Aerospace team are developing decentralized software solutions for government and military applications, including; autonomous systems, airborne video, and supply-chain logistics.
Mike is one of twenty five recipients of the Level Up Local Grant, offered by Prospera Credit Union and Accelerate Okanagan. We caught up with Mike to learn more about what makes Kelowna the best place for his business, the biggest challenges he’s faced, and how he’s leveraged the Level Up Local grant to support his company’s growth.
Have you always been entrepreneurial?
Throughout my career, I had always been interested in the entrepreneurial side of engineering and technology. I was fortunate to meet several like-minded co-founders at the right time, and we teamed up to start Beyond Aerospace. With the emergence of so many game-changing technologies at the same time (Blockchain, AI, and Communications) we saw that there was a lot of room for innovation in the aviation and defence markets.
What makes Beyond Aerospace unique?
Our Ares software is a fully decentralized Cyber Mission Assurance platform developed to enable secure data sharing between coalition partners across multiple security domains. Ares can be integrated directly on sensor platforms and autonomous systems to provide end-to-end protection in adversarial tactical environments.
We also offer a range of supporting application software, embedded hardware, communications and engineering services to enable full-turnkey solution delivery. Our solutions include surveillance video, supply chain management, and predictive maintenance.
What makes Kelowna the best place for Beyond Aerospace?
Of all the technology hubs in Canada, the lifestyle and four seasons climate in the Okanagan is difficult to beat. The business community is amazingly supportive. You really get the sense that everyone is looking for ways to help you succeed. Additionally, the adoption of remote work has levelled the playing field for us, as most of our customers are located in Eastern Canada and the US. It has also opened up a much deeper talent pool than we would otherwise have access to. While most of our team is local, we are able to pull in specialists and senior talent from anywhere in North America when needed.
The business community is amazingly supportive. You really get the sense that everyone is looking for ways to help you succeed.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had growing your business?
Our target market is very demanding with high barriers to entry. We have had to be very patient as we continue to mature our technology and progressively work through evaluation gates and the procurement process. We have been fortunate to have very supportive customers who see the value in our technology. Understanding their needs and building these relationships has been critical to our success.
What has been your favourite moment from running your business?
Nothing compares to the feeling of getting that first contract awarded. At that moment everything became very real for me, very fast.
How has the Level Up Local Grant helped your business?
Our digital marketing strategy relies extensively on video content to showcase our capabilities and solutions. Professional videos can be difficult and expensive to produce. The Level Up Local Grant has helped us to train internal resources to produce new content quickly and efficiently.
You can learn more about Beyond Aerospace by visiting their website.