Case Study

Skyeton: The sky is no longer the limit

20 pages
December 2020
Reference: IMD-7-2215

Ukrainian founder Aleksandr Stepura wants to grow his civilian drone-manufacturing startup Skyeton. Thanks to a local pool of aeronautical expertise inherited from the Soviet period, Stepura rapidly reached product excellence, technically on par with global powerhouses such as Boeing and other manufacturers coming from the military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) space. Coming from a market approach focused solely on addressing the needs of governmental entities (police, border patrol, coast guards…), Stepura wants to expand the activities to regular B2B sales, for which the sales cycle is much shorter and less dependent on political connections. But moving from B2G to B2B was no easy feat operationally. The startup also had to make other decisions: selling products (drones, as flying platforms or complete systems) or services? Where to re-locate the company? What business model to pursue? How much financing was required? What needs to change in the management team to go from startup to scaleup effectively?

Learning Objective
  • Managing growth, scaling up, pivoting.
  • Business model choices, product versus service, going global.
  • Expansion financing, branding, market choices, integration issues.
  • Doing business in Ukraine.
  • Entrepreneurship, market-channel fit.
Business Model, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Venture Capital, Growth Financing, Product Management, Technology, Start-up, Location of Industry, Geographic Expansion, Global Business Development, Emerging Market, Business to Business, Business to Government, Ecosystem, Ecosystem Orchestration, Drone
Central and Eastern Europe, Ukraine
Skyeton, Manufacturing, Aerospace and Defense
Field Research
© 2020
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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