Startup Interview, drone platform founder Neil J. Lesher

Tell us about yourself

Neil J. Lesher, Founder CEO, LeshTronix Drone Systems.
50 years old
From New York, NY
My professional background is Market Data technology-software Analyst within the Investment Banking sector
I love Family. Family is everything, they are my ultimate fans and motivators
Hate is a deep concept. I loathe procrastination, lack of enthusiasm and any excuses which inhibit idea execution.

How did the idea for your business come about?

I’ve been an electronics enthusiast since childhood and always had a passion for UAV/Drone technology. About 18 months ago, I was with my Father and observed his frustration with not being able to properly handle his iPhone because of advanced Arthritis. This is when the “Da Vinci” lightbulb exploded in my mind and I conceived “PhoneQuad” which is a hovering smartphone case.

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
I’m a purebred Entrepreneur. The Entrepreneurial spirit and drive that I have is pre-wired into my DNA.

How did you come up with the name for your company?
It’s a play on words, my last name Lesher + Electronics = LeshTronix

How did you raise funding for your venture?
I’m in the process of raising funds now. I’m speaking with various venture capital, providing my pitch deck and having some deeper conversations regarding a myriad of strategies.

How do you build a successful customer base?
I’ve always believed that a product or service should reflect the morals, values and ethics of its creator and founding team. Building a loyal customer base starts with creating a great product, supported by a hyper energetic and enthusiastic group of professionals. Consumer confidence is the initial goal. Once you have that, then you have to maintain and grow it through exceptional service, marketing (customer retention efforts) feedback and always looking towards improvement. For me, I’d rather be on the assembly line than buried in the P&L process. Someone else on the team can own that.

How did you get involved with business?
LeshTronix Drone Systems is my baby, its my 3rd child. I’m the founder and in the process of nurturing it so it properly evolves into a force that positively contributes back to the world. I’m not just developing a product, but a cultural-technological revolution that will change the way society interacts with smart devices.

How does someone get you excited and willing to commit?

Although I’m an inventor at heart, I pride myself of being a skilled salesperson. I know my product, I know the sector I’m selling into, I know I have something of value and quality. If a salesperson can get me excited about things that excite them, then I’ll be willing to put in some due diligence and potentially become a customer. I’m not impulsive, I’m patient.

How do you advertise your business?

I work with a graphic designer and we’ve created some awesome concept videos and pictures which portray PhoneQuad in the real world. It’s important to ethically display your intent without depicting functionality that will never happen. My visualization techniques properly exhibit what we intend to mass manufacture.

How do you advertise your product/service?

Right now, I’m utilizing the power of Social Media. I have an Instagram page, LinkedIn and distribute my website’s URL and concept video in all my communications.

To what do you attribute your success?

Success is not a straight path. Many curves and valleys to watch out for. Even when I reach it, I might not know I’m there.

What do you look for in an employee?

The most important thing to us is that they fit into our corporate culture!
When I’m hiring people and focused on building the right team, although experience is important, attitude is paramount.

What made you choose your current location?

I’m a native New Yorker and love it here. My family has been in the New York City area since 1901. We love the multicultural atmosphere and appreciate the ability to visit the Beach, the mountains and the city all within an hour.

What kind of Corporation is your business?

LeshTronix is a startup UAV/Done company that designs, develops and sells the Hands-Free PhoneQuad Smartphone platform.

Do you work locally or internationally?
Our team is local to New York. Our relationships and corporate trajectory are international.

What’s your company’s goals?
We are pioneers in the UAV/Drone sector. There are other somewhat competing products, but those are true “Selfie Drones” and specifically target the x-games and outdoors enthusiast demographic.
• PhoneQuad allows the end user to lock their smartphone (Apple or Samsung) inside it.
• You can then power-on and deploy PhoneQuad, which means its in full Hover mode. You can walk away from it and use voice commands via Bluetooth AirPods to control certain aspects of functionality. We are the Anomaly in this sector.

What is unique about your business?
Our goals are to produce best-in-class products and truly change the world in the process. There isn’t a Drone platform in the world that enable hands-free pics, videos and video call functionality using smart devices. Imagine your smartphone following you while you walk and talk. This is just one aspect we’re focused within our multi-generational pipeline of PhoneQuad products.

What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
I’m a hands-on operations guy. I take hold and take charge when an idea is accepted into the program and put all my efforts to ensure we breathe life into it. If I believe in it… I will make it happen. I’m also directly responsible for all our actions, strategies and who we on-board as new team members.

Does your company help the community where it is located?

One of our short- and long-term goals is community support. We fully intent to be active in all regions where are products are sold and used. As a startup, our resources are limited, but as we grow, our humanitarian and philanthropic strategies will come to life.

Have you ever turned down a client?
We don’t have clients yet, but I’m sure that there will be many scenarios and expectations that we will deal with while we take this path.

What help do you need from our ecosystem?

Economics are always going to play a role in the tech-startup world. Just because someone or some entity offers your company money, doesn’t automatically mean they are the proper partner. Our goal is to find the right strategic partner who can help guide through all the details leading up to and beyond manufacturing and global distribution.

The essence of a true partnership is when 2 or more parties come together and truly take ownership of their strengths. That’s what I need in a dedicated venture partner.


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