Some college students deliver pizza for extra cash. Andrew Ajewole flies drones.
The 20-year-old UNC Charlotte junior is the CEO and founder of Open Frontier Drone Solutions, a real estate photography and videography company. On average, millennials start their first business at age 27. Ajewole is ahead of the curve thanks to his father, who owns a civil engineering company.
“Whenever my dad wanted to come home, he did,” said Ajewole. “If I wanted to watch the World Cup, he would just come home and watch it with me during the summer. So really the freedom that you get from having your own company led me to my own business. Even though a lot of people get into entrepreneurship for the money, I really want to get my time back more so than the money.”
In his research, Ajewole realized that aerial drone photography was reserved strictly for the high-end market. He wanted to provide affordable aerial drone photography for anyone looking to display a property – thus Open Frontier was born. Ajewole totes the DJI Mavic Pro from property to property, a gizmo that can fly up to 40 mph for up to 30 minutes and is guided by what looks like an old school Super Nintendo controller.
Ajewole teamed up with RexWhite Imagery for his first shoot in Mint Hill. That property wasn’t the only thing profiled that day.
“We actually got the police called on us. I guess someone in the neighborhood saw us flying the drone and the next thing we knew we were being interrogated by two police officers but the realtor came out and cleared everything up. It was a sobering experience because now I have that real feel of what it will be like after graduation.”
Although Open Frontier is in its early stages, Ajewole has big plans. By the end of 2018, he intends to cover all aspects of owning a property: buy, sell, inspect, invest and manage. His eagerness comes from his own experiences with gentrification.
“I was born in the Plaza area and when I go back there now it’s just completely different,” Ajewole said. “I see people who I know who had to move out of their home because they couldn’t afford the taxes or rent to pay on it. So I’m trying to solve that issue especially within bigger cities so even if it’s not taking back where they’re from, at least providing a place to go to that still a safe and affordable area.”