Hi there, and welcome to our blog! My name is Brandon Keeber and I am part of the extremely small team of people who bring you Novatropes. The purpose of this post is to introduce the Novatropes team, as well as to lay out the purpose of this entire blog, which will more or less follow the below framework.
- To act as a journal of our progress both artistic and entrepreneurial.
- To help encapsulate lessons we've learned along the way to help others facing similar challenges.
- To hopefully inspire those who wish to undertake similar entrepreneurial journeys.
For those who don't know me, I am a relentlessly inquisitive and resourceful maker at heart, and while the last few years of my life have been spent in the artistic / entrepreneurial realm, my true passion is for space exploration and flight technologies. After being raised on the Suzuki Violin Method and spending my youth hiking and biking through the trails of Sedona Arizona, I attended Arizona State University (ASU) where I earned my Bachelors and then my Masters degrees in Aerospace engineering. After that I spent some time on anti-ballistic missile defense vehicles at Orbital-ATK, where I accidentally automated myself out of a job (oops) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .
I've always had an interest in manufacturing however, so I accepted a position at a fire suppression company in Scottsdale, and it was during my time there that I created the first Novatrope as a Christmas present for family and friends. I knew almost immediately after watching the first prototype come to life that I needed to share it with the world, which led me down the path on which I currently trek. I showed it to my friend and fellow alumni Jimmy Gomez, and he agreed to embark on the journey with me.
It was during my time at ASU that I met Jimmy, where we co-founded a student club called the American Helicopter Society together. Together, we took the Novatrope prototype and turned it into a viable product, finally* bringing it to Kickstarter in December 2019. Over a hundred and fifty people decided to support our vision and together made our campaign a success. Now, we're actively selling and fulfilling orders, as well as gaining a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks in growing a small business.
Since then we've brought on a third co-founder, Tanner Levi, who has assumed the mantle of maintaining, upgrading, and deploying the custom Blender add-on that generates Novatropes. This tool is a constant work in progress, and Tanner has self-taught himself Python and run with it, turning it into a powerful piece of software that helps manifest our ideas into reality.
And that's it, just the three of us! But although our team is small, there are so many other people who have been a part of our journey in the roles of advisors, supporters, and advocates without whom we simply wouldn't be where we are today. We are incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to work on a project that brings so many people joy, and look forward to spreading peace and happiness into the world as much as possible.