Central Michigan University graduate student Zach Huffman and his media entrepreneurship classmates were top-12 finalists in a national competition with their business plan focused on using drones in broadcast news.
The team from the broadcast and cinematic arts course was among more than 150 entries addressing the question, "What is an unconventional way broadcasters and other local media could serve communities?" in the National Association of Broadcasters' PILOT Innovation Challenge competition.
The challenge, developed by the NAB and the Knight Foundation, recognizes creative ideas that leverage technology in producing, distributing and displaying engaging content.
The CMU team's proposed Drone the News consultant business would focus on news content rather than film, surveillance, surveying or farming. Huffman, who works at Mount Pleasant Municipal Airport, is a licensed pilot certified to use commercial drones.
The team plans to pitch DTN at CMU's Make-a-Pitch competition and New Venture Competition.
In addition to Huffman, team members are Tim Harkleroad, Morgan Durfee, Ryan Anderson and Matthew Nowicki.