An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Evaguel Rhysing (founder and CEO) and Daryian Rhysing (founder, CTO, and executive chairman) of United Aircraft Technologies, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of United Aircraft Technologies – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
The origin of UAT was based on the life experience of Daryian Rhysing: “I was an aircraft electrician for the US Army and Navy for over 12 years. I constantly did modifications that required the removal of all the electrical systems. This meant taking out and replacing thousands of clamps in a single helicopter. Throughout the years, I ended up injuring myself, losing the strength and dexterity of my fingers. Eventually, I could no longer perform my job as an aircraft electrician. I lost my job and my home. So, I decided to go back to school at nearly 40 years old and create a solution. Once I had the solution, I needed someone to help me make a business case – enter Evaguel, with her degree in business administration and her experience with business development for both small and medium-sized companies for over 10 years.”
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
Every entrepreneur knows there are big hurdles you need to overcome each step of the way. First, it was the fact that we had a hardware-based product. We had to spend a lot of extra time and capital to develop it before we could do fundraising, unlike software-based products that are low capital on the development side. Second is the fact that we are a married couple, namely having people understand that yes, we are married, but we are still professionals in our own fields. We were coworkers before we were a couple and we both have a deep respect for each other’s area of expertise. We have a good balance of both technical and business knowledge that has worked for us thus far. Thankfully, we’ve had people believe in us and we are so thankful to those that have given us encouragement and supported us along the way.
What does the future hold for United Aircraft Technologies?
Currently, we are setting up manufacturing for our base model and are finishing the prototype of our sensing model, even throughout this crisis. Thankfully, our focus has always been the military and they’ve helped us through it. We expect by the end of this year to have sensing ready for larger-scale testing and hope for our solution to be implemented in rotorcraft by 2021.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Troy?
While UAT has been expanding to other states such as Massachusetts, Troy has a good local startup community. There are a couple of bigger startups such as VARA and Kirsh Helmets that have set the stage for other companies like ourselves. Furthermore, the local community is early-stage startup focused, with resources such as the center for economic growth, IgniteU, Tech Valley Center of Gravity, and others that have always been willing to help companies grow.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Know it’s not an easy or quick way to make a living. Understand that it is a long road with many challenges, but also many rewards. If you are persistent and keep going, you will eventually see the fruits of your labor and trust us – it’s worth it. Lastly, you will get a lot of “no”. It’s okay – don’t take it personally. Think of it this way: “That no is just a delayed yes”. Your idea or innovation is worth sharing – after all, that is what this country is built upon: innovation and people brave enough to go out and seek it.