May 25, 2024

An extensive history of innovation in autonomous technology began at UND

Nick Zaccardi has been working for Thread (previously Airtonomy) since 2020, when he graduated from UND’s Air Traffic Control programme. Zaccardi’s UND education has helped him in his role as CTO of the North Dakota autonomous-technology startup Thread.

Zaccardi claimed that his time spent at UND gave him a “remarkable sense of accomplishment.”
What UND excels at doing is making a space that encourages students to learn. It provided me with a safe space to experiment, experience setbacks, and, most importantly, connect with others who shared my interests.

Zaccardi claimed that her time at UND had helped her land her current position at Thread because of the connections she made there.

Thread was established in 2019 by a group of North Dakota State University alums led by CEO Joshua Riedy, COO Jim Higgins, and CISO Travis Desell. Higgins is a professor of aviation at UND, and both Riedy and Desell have previously served as faculty members in the department of computer science.

Thread, based out of Grand Forks, combines software with unmanned aerial systems and robotics to provide prompt, accurate inspections of critical infrastructure like wind turbines and utility lines. For instance, in January, the firm was given a $1.2 million contract to improve the security of Grand Forks Air Force Base’s perimeter by creating software for unmanned aerial systems.

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In addition, Thread announced its Series A funding round’s initial $15 million in October. Series A financing, as defined by Investopedia, “describes an investment in a privately held start-up after it has demonstrated progress in building its business model and the potential for growth and revenue generation.”

Zaccardi emphasised that “Thread” is primarily a data technology firm. We have built a powerful data and asset management platform to aid businesses in managing the inspection asset lifecycles in the renewable energy, oil and gas, utility, and military sectors.

When it comes to providing asset inspections, “our technology enables enterprises to be more efficient, accurate, and scalable.”

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