Federal Contractors | Technology 2023: TOM WALKER
FOUNDER & CEO, DRONEUP, VIRGINIA BEACH
After a 17-year stint as a Navy officer, serving as a nuclear power engineer on submarines, and another 17 years as president of software company Web Teks, Walker launched DroneUp, a provider of aerial drone services, in 2016. The Virginia Beach tech company has grown quickly since then, purchasing Web Teks in 2021 and partnering with Walmart to deliver items by aerial drone, expanding Walmart’s delivery network with 34 drone hubs. Last year, DroneUp announced it would establish a $20.2 million drone research, training and testing center at Richard Bland College in Petersburg.
DroneUp has about 400 employees, all in Virginia, and this year, it entered into partnerships with Carilion Clinic and Riverside Health System to deliver medications. In 2022, the company launched a $7 million headquarters expansion, adding 510 jobs in Virginia Beach and 145 positions at its Richard Bland center, where it trains DroneUp pilots. In the past year, DroneUp’s deliveries have expanded to six states: Virginia, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Texas and Utah.