By Tim Ryan

In an exhilarating testament to innovation, leadership, and impact, DroneUp CEO Tom Walker has been named a finalist in Ernst & Young’s (EY) Mid-Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for 2024. This prestigious recognition places Walker and his pioneering drone delivery company, DroneUp, among the leading innovators reshaping the region’s economic landscape. This selection highlights the remarkable contributions of the Hampton Roads-based firm to the burgeoning field of drone technology.

DroneUp, headquartered in Hampton Roads, is a trailblazer in the drone industry, providing drone delivery solutions that are revolutionizing logistics. Their drone delivery network, established through strategic partnerships with retailers like Walmart, aims to accelerate and streamline last-mile deliveries, making the process more efficient, sustainable, and customer-friendly.

Walker’s leadership has played a pivotal role in positioning DroneUp as a global unmanned aerial systems (UAS) leader, creating a robust ecosystem for the entire drone economy. His vision extends beyond commercial delivery, seeking to transform drone technology into a comprehensive solution addressing challenges in public safety, infrastructure inspection, and disaster response.

Tom Walker’s selection as a finalist in EY’s prestigious awards acknowledges his unwavering dedication to innovation, inclusivity, and strategic growth. The Mid-Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year program celebrates leaders who have achieved financial success and shown an unparalleled commitment to their communities.

EY’s panel of independent judges praised Walker for navigating the complex regulatory environment surrounding drone technology and his resilience in fostering an inclusive, diverse, and forward-thinking corporate culture. Under Walker’s guidance, DroneUp has forged partnerships with educational institutions to empower the next generation of drone pilots and innovators, reflecting his vision of a broader drone ecosystem.

The recognition of Tom Walker and DroneUp is a significant moment for Hampton Roads, spotlighting the region’s thriving innovation landscape. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award signifies the collective progress of the region’s ecosystem, where public and private partnerships, educational initiatives, and inclusive growth are setting a new standard for entrepreneurial success.

Walker expressed his gratitude for the recognition: “This nomination reflects the tireless efforts of our team at DroneUp and the unwavering support of our partners. Together, we are redefining what’s possible in drone technology and pushing the boundaries of innovation.”

As Tom Walker and DroneUp continue to push the envelope in drone technology, their selection as finalists in the EY Mid-Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is a testament to their exceptional leadership and vision. Innovate Hampton Roads celebrates Walker’s achievement, which amplifies the region’s position as a hub for technological advancement and entrepreneurship.

You can view an additional story about this topic in Virgin Business.