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Taylor Chien

Taylor Chien, 28 Founder, chief executive Frank Tesoro, 28 Founder, chief financial officer Jordan Chien, 24 Head of technical services Dronefly Newbury Park Sells Dji Phantom drone for civilian use, with applications ranging from hobby to filmmaking. The drones, priced at $479 and $1,199, are made by DJI Innovations in Austin, Texas. Dronefly distributes the aircraft through its website and supplies it to hobby shops. It also services the craft. Founded: April Employees: 10 Financials: Completed $1.5 million sales; projected $2 million by end of year What makes your company unusual? Taylor Chien: The Dji phantom is brand new and has changed the way people take pictures and video. It allows anyone to get professional aerial photos and video. What led you to start your own company? I’ve always been an entrepreneur growing up. I’ve had several different companies in the past. Where did you get the financing? I used to freelance in the television industry as a camera operator and editor so I often used the money I made from there to pay for startup costs. After a couple of months on my own of proving that this could be a potential business, I convinced my friend and past business partner Frank Tesoro to partner up. (His brother Jordan also is in the business.) What were the biggest challenges? When I first started, I attended a trade show in Las Vegas where I made 25 Phantom sales in one day. I was really concerned because I had sold these customers on a product I didn’t have. I got a small loan from my parents to purchase the 25 units so I could send them to the customers. How many hours a day do you work? My girlfriend would say I work 24 hours a day. Everything is essentially run through my iPhone, so it’s hard to not check emails and orders coming in. What is the biggest advantage of being young? Energy and believing. Do you have plans for another company? I always have plans for other companies. Could you ever be an employee? It’s not for me. I don’t take direction well at all. What advice would you give to other Millennials who may want to start their own business? My advice for others if they want to start their own business is to do it. You gotta make it happen or it won’t. But you also have to be prepared for things not to work out. But eventually it will. All it takes is one. – Mark R. Madler

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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