Seven startups forge ahead with business plans through virtual Lighthouse Labs program | Business News

The company is in the process of prototyping a third product, which Vu hopes to introduce next year, that will be training footwear for college and professional athletes. He is also developing a fully “smart footwear” with embedded sensors that would track things such as activity, weight distribution and posture.

“It can help you adjust your daily activities so you can be more active and healthy,” he said.

Linebird is a company that develops unmanned aircraft systems — or drones — for use in monitoring infrastructure such as power transmission lines.

The Richmond-based startup was founded by Michael Beiro, a Richmonder who studied mechanical engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Since starting the company in 2018, Beiro has since partnered with drone pilots Chase Coble and David Schul in addition to Lee Corbin, who has a professional background in the construction and electrical industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic “kind of put a damper on R&D for a little bit, just because you can’t get out to prototyping labs,” Beiro said. “Getting together to fly tests is a little more difficult to coordinate.”

Still, the company has filed for patents on its drone system and, through the Lighthouse Labs program, made contact with a broader range of potential clients, including small electric cooperatives, Beiro said.

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