Harvard Pole aids Gambia with innovative ‘drone Uber business’ – and he’s just 21!
A 21-year-old Harvard-educated Pole has been praised by the esteemed science commentator Dr Maciej Kawecki for using his drone firm to deliver aid supplies in Africa.
Born and raised in Warsaw, Jan Kryca built his first drone at the age of 12 after receiving various components as a Christmas present.
Fascinated by drones ever since, his interest piqued yet further during the pandemic when he began thinking about using drones to deliver vaccines.
In April 2021 Kryca founded a start-up named Arda, a firm he describes as “a venture backed, first-of-its-kind, end-to-end drone delivery platform.”
After pitching and demonstrating his idea for “a drone Uber” to authorities in Ghana, within months he had raised over PLN 1 million to aid the realisation of his project.
With his pilot project proving a runaway success, Kryca signed a contract with Ghana’s Ministry of Health and the Red Cross to deliver supplies to remote areas.
Based around a smartphone app created by Kryca, users are able to order supplies by stating a start point and delivery destination. Through this, orders of milk, medicine, adrenaline shots and blood can be made to those in dire need.
“We’ve even delivered breakfast to one doctor,” said Kryca in an interview on YouTube.
Regarded as a game-changing project, Kryca’s innovation has integrated drones into customer vehicle fleets, thereby enabling them to run their deliveries independently of third-party operators and complex technologies.
Having spent months himself in Gambia, Kryca says that drones have reduced delivery times to as little as eight-minutes.
With the country carved in half by the epic Gambia River – and only one bridge connecting either side – this has shaved off several hours when it has come to the delivery of vital medicines.
Writing on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Dr Maciej Kawecki, a champion of Polish science, said: “Jan has created a drone management system, optimising what the world's largest corporations considered impossible.”
Continuing, Kawecki said: “His system really works, and the transport of these medical supplies has already saved hundreds of lives. Do note that this boy is just 21-years-old!”