Western grad's Sky Eye turns aerial photography into moneymaker
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Chris Bacik didn’t set out to become a business mogul.
Truth be told, the 22-year-old Western University grad was more interested in earning a few extra bucks than making it big when Sky Eye Media started two years ago.
Now, with a new bachelors degree in engineering and an honours in business administration under his belt, Bacik is toying with the idea of making the company his full-time gig.
“For the next couple of years, at least, I’m going to see how it goes,” the Barrie native said. “Everyone just seems to love (the idea).”
Originally called Simcoe View, Sky Eye combines a bit of entrepreneurial know-how with Bacik’s passion — and talent — for flying remote-controlled helicopters.
Bacik grew up racing high-performance remote-controlled cars and started experimenting with helicopters in his late teens. Pretty soon, he’d steadied his hand enough to attach a camera without worrying about a crash and smash.
“I just kind of thought of it as a fun idea,” he said.
At some point — likely as he soared over Lake Simcoe snapping gorgeous shots not possible from the ground — Bacik realized there was money to be made.
So in May 2010, he hoped on his Sea-Doo and posted fliers on docks around cottage country. His pitch: Aerial pictures of your property for a fraction of the fee charged by photographers who work from planes.
Approximate number of jobs Sky Eye has racked up in two years.
The idea took like wildfire:. Most of the business has come from real-estate agents interested in giving potential buyers a bird’s-eye view of high-end properties, but his portfolio also includes picturesque views of golf courses and weddings.
With $5,000 under his belt from a recent business-pitch competition for Western and Fanshawe College students, a Sky Eye expansion is underway.
The money, Bacik said, will go toward a second remote-controlled helicopter equipped with a video camera, offering more services in the London area and possibly setting up an office here.
He plans to hire is first employee in August when the video-enabled copter is ready to hit the sky.
“I want to move into targeting documentary (filmmakers). … That opens up a whole new market.”
Pictures from Sky Eye Media’s portfolio and owner Chris Bacik’s contact information is available on the company’s website, skyeyemedia.com.
The Samuel quadruplets — Sarah, Serah, Samuel and Salome — start classes at McMaster on Sept. 8. They are believed to be the first student quadruplets in the university’s 128-year history.