- Tell us something about yourself, your background
My name is Dan O’Toole. I was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois. At an early age, my dad was transferred to Indianapolis, Indiana, which is where I grew up. I am 57, have been married to my one and only wife for 33 years. Together, we have 4 children, Steve, 32, Reese, 30, Lora, 21 and Bryce 15. We also have one fantastic granddaughter, Charlotte. I am also fortunate to have both of my parents; mom, Lois, 86 and my dad, Dan, 93. Family is everything, don’t ever put anyone ahead of your family, you always know where you stand.
I graduated from Ball State University class of 1986, where I majored in Public Relations and Marketing. I was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. After graduating, I started a career in corporate America, but soon went on to start my own business. Since, I have owned businesses in the following industries; construction, vending, distribution as well as commercial real estate.
- Tell us about the product/s you invented with a brief explanation
I have always been a serial entrepreneur. I also pride myself on being a visionary. When I see something, I’m always asking myself “why is it done that way?”, “what if it was done like this?” My most recent invention is a product I call DRONEDEK. Please check out our website at www.DRONEDEK.com. DRONEDEK is what I call the mailbox of the future. The mailbox has not been disrupted since 1858. We’re here to change that. We have been awarded the first patent in this space in the US. We consider ourselves to be the gateway to every home and business, through our safe, secure, smart mailbox.
DRONEDEK is available through its subscription service. Much like an Amazon Prime model, the user will pay $10 per month for both the DRONEDEK unit and the accompanying app.
DRONEDEK represents 102 patent claims; both awarded and filed for, creating a robust, comprehensive platform for autonomous delivery.
DRONEDEK has 3 revenue streams; our $10 per month subscription model, a platform access fee, each time a DRONEDEK is accessed by a shipper or deliverer and a big data revenue stream. DRONEDEK is poised to be the next great utility.
The total addressable market in the US is 160 million addresses. This number grows by 4,000 new addresses each day. DRONEDEK beat Amazon by 9 days, beat the US Postal Service by 2 weeks and Valqari by just 22 days in filing for our first position granted US Utility Patent.
- How/Why did you start inventing. What set you off?
How many times have you heard, “I had that same idea”, or “Why didn’t I think of that?” I always say, by the time you thought about it, I did it. I believe that decisiveness and execution equal success. When I had the idea for DRONEDEK, I ran to the patent office. I believe that when one person has an idea, ten people have the same idea at the same time. As it turns out, I was right. That’s how and why I beat the big boys. I also feel that if you don’t act with haste, oftentimes, great opportunities are fleeting and they won’t be there, if and when you decide to do it. I have a lot of ideas and I write each one of them down. It is my goal to tackle every idea on my list before I die. One of the visions that has always driven me, is the notion of someday being 80 years old, working in a cubicle at an office, maxed out and wondering, “what would have happened had I tried that idea?” I would not trade one of my failures for not knowing. Leave it all on the court and have no regrets!
- How did you get from idea to finished product?
I believe execution is everything. I believe that there is nothing I can’t do. Anything is possible when you put the right team around yourself. Being willing to understand and to admit that you don’t know everything, opens up your mind to a place where you can acquire great talent and collaborate. With that said, I had a vision. The vision came into clarity through the patent filing process. From there, we developed a product roadmap. We set internal benchmarks and milestones to attain, on our way to raising capital. Throughout our developmental journey, there were a lot of meetings. Putting the team together, meeting with attorneys, design firms, prototyping manufacturers and more. One thing led to another and soon we had a great vision for our finished product. We met the prototyping firm that we ultimately hired at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, in 2020. Today we are expecting our next generation prototype delivery in Q2 of this year.
- Where are you with your product? Where can we buy your product?
DRONEDEK is set to begin testing in the marketplace our prototype arrives in Q2 of this year. We are in discussions with several municipalities and Fortune 500 Companies about collaborating on testing regimes. From successful testing, we will move to market implementation. Stay tuned, that’s where the excitement really begins! The product will not be for sale, but can be obtained through our DRONEDEK subscription model.
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