DRONEDEK Congratulates Lora O’Toole on Selection to the Inaugural Conexus Rising 30 Class

INDIANAPOLIS – April 29, 2021 – DRONEDEK, is pleased to announce that its Chief Administrative Officer, Lora O’Toole, is part of Conexus Indiana’s inaugural Rising 30 class, which 

Rising 30 honorees are individuals working in the Indiana advanced manufacturing or logistics (ALM) sector who are 30 years old or younger who have demonstrated early career impact and are poised to continue forging the industries forward. Nominees must have substantial AML field experience, exhibit success directly within the industry or in more unique roles that positively impact the AML ecosystem as a whole including educators, talent development experts, and public sector advocates.  

DRONEDEK’s Chief Technology Officer Neerav Shah nominated O’Toole, who has worked at the startup since 2019 while she also worked to complete degrees at Indiana University in International Studies and Japanese, and in East Asian Language and Culture: Japanese.

“It’s a difficult thing to help with a startup, but to do it while finishing your degree is another,” Shah said. “Lora is highly dependable, creative and ready to pivot on a moment’s notice. We’re very proud of her and expect great things for her future.”

Lora has helped the family-owned startup secure patents and to continue fundraising activities. Among her achievements: leading a global search to select a contract manufacturing partner and reducing projected per-unit production costs. The company expects to launch a pilot of its drone delivery project later this year, and with it a vision to offer smart mailboxes for every address in the United States and one day the world.

Her advice to other women working in the ALM sector is to know going in that they will be working in a male-dominated world. 

“My advice as a woman as well as a young professional is to not listen to those who overlook you or brush you off,” she said. “In the startup world, there are a ton of moving parts and you never know what new issue will arise. Working in a male dominated field is similar. Just keep at it. Do the work, be professional and you’ll succeed.”

DRONEDEK is the Indianapolis startup that is among the first companies to patent a high-tech mailbox designed for secure drone delivery, today announced the formation of its advisory board.

Based in Indianapolis, DRONEDEK solves two critical challenges of the package delivery industry: the expense and inefficiency of the last-mile and package security. DRONEDEK is one of the first companies in the world to focus on drone delivery for commercial and residential use. With more than 160 million addresses in the U.S. alone (with 4,000 new addresses created daily) the addressable market is immense. Since the COVID outbreak, in-person shopping and entertainment activity is down by 90 percent while e-commerce is up by more than 50 percent according to Boston Consulting Group, which recently questioned whether delivery services could keep up with the boom. 

Beyond simple delivery, package security is also a concern as more than 1.7 million traditionally-delivered packages are stolen from American doorsteps, which amounts to $25 million a day in lost goods and services every day. 

DRONEDEK has raised more than $2.5 million from a combination of angel investors and a crowdsourcing campaign, which is ongoing. The company holds two U.S. patents for its sophisticated mailbox, which is designed to accept drone deliveries of any type, including food deliveries that it can keep hot or cold.

About DRONEDEK: DRONEDEK’s smart mailbox enables customers to fully automate their delivery process for the last mile. See the mailbox and learn more at DRONEDEK.com 

Media Contact: Cheryl Reed/ 317-446-5240

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