Bringing joy and freedom back to air travel
Conceived and started by Jonathan Evans; an Army veteran, professional pilot, and successfully-exited entrepreneur. After selling his drone operations management company, Skyward, to Verizon in February 2017, Jonathan began aggregating the network and experience needed for his next company. The launch team that joins him in founding KinectAir is comprised of professional aviators, technologists, legal counsel, and seasoned entrepreneurs. The team has developed a shared vision that brings to bear the full breadth of skills and knowledge it takes, to build a trusted air service from the ground-up around a company that has software in its soul.
We’re currently brokering flights on Pilatus PC-12 aircraft through our trusted network of vetted certificated aircraft operators. We are acquiring our own FAA certificate that’ll allow us to fly our own aircraft; specifically our strategically selected Cirrus SR22 aircraft as well as the Pilatus machines.
Additionally, we’re changing where and when you fly. Instead of the traditional Hub & Spoke model of flying, we can take advantage of our lean team and right-sized aircraft to implement a nodal network. Nodes are more efficient; our guests’ time is honored and we burn less than half the fuel of traditional routes to hubs. Our guests also skip the lines by using local, private terminals that are closer to where they live. Guests set their departure time and can arrive 15 minutes before their flight leaves.
At KinectAir, we want to move people. Not just in space and time, but emotionally. We want the experience of air travel to be joyful and to inspire again. Our ‘why’ is that the journey is the destination, and we should all be empowered to craft our journeys in artful ways. We provide aircraft and software as noble tools in this craft.
chief executive officer
Jonathan began a career in aviation in 1997 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and earned his private pilot’s license flying taildraggers off grass strips near Fort Knox, KY. He was fortunate to be selected to become a Warrant Officer and helicopter pilot soon after, and flew UH60 Blackhawks until being honorably discharged in 2006. As a civilian, he flew helicopters and airplanes all over the West, including three years in Alaska, and settled in as a medevac pilot for Life Flight Network in Eugene, Oregon in 2010. Flying night shifts, he attended the MBA program at the University of Oregon using the GI Bill starting in the fall of 2012 and incubated a successful drone operations management company called Skyward. After raising over $8M in venture capital, and driving the software company towards category-setting enterprise adoption, it was acquired by Verizon in February 2017. From there he transitioned into a VP position at Verizon, leading Global Aviation Policy until starting KinectAir in October 2019.
Chief technical Officer
Ben has deployed hardware and software products used around the world by building diverse teams designed to execute in concert on a single vision. Starting in 2003 with work on a DARPA Grand Challenge car, Ben has used his strategic vision to move products from idea to production by applying agile to develop, test and learn quickly. As a seasoned entrepreneur that has successfully raised capital at multiple companies, Ben has launched SaaS platforms for international mobile users and applied deep learning to capitalize on a wealth of big data. User-focused product means knowing ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ before jumping into the ‘What’ or ‘How’ part of the engineering process. Ben has experienced firsthand the power of aligning on and understanding the value of a product before breaking ground.
Managing Director, Europe
Nick is an aviation entrepreneur passionate about leading aerospace, future safety and innovation for the next generation of air travel and vehicles through smart use of AI, Machine Learning and connectivity. He is also a successfully exited aviation technology entrepreneur selling his London based company to Private Equity in May 2019. Nick has significant operational experience following a 15 year career as a commercial airline Captain flying Airbus A320 and Boeing 747 aircraft for British Airways.
Chief operations officer
Chief Revenue Officer
Celeste has 20+ years of experience in sales, marketing, and business leadership. Successfully exited tech executive, as well as leadership roles in multiple non-profit Board of Directors with President, Vice President Roles. Her most transformative leadership roles have been in transportation and mid-market companies, taking regional companies from SMB’s with $10-15M revenue to $150M+. In an effort for continued education, she proudly holds many certifications, including Lean Kanban by Toyota Motor Corp, Agile Methodology of Software Management, Google Analytics and Hubspot Digital Academy.
Director of flight operations
Conor is a veteran captain and top professional in the aviation industry. From army special operations combat helicopter pilot, firefighting captain, and airplane and helicopter instructor he is a proven leader in several communities within the industry. When you book a flight with KinectAir know that Conor has vetted the trusted charter operator you’re flying on. He often flies along in the co-pilot seat to assure quality, and help facilitate KinectAir concierge services.
Conor is also leading the KinectAir charter certification process with the FAA. We’re aiming to hold our charter/air-taxi certificate from the FAA, enabling us to operate our own aircraft from the Portland, OR area.
Product analyst, Concierge
Eli is a recent graduate from the University of Oregon majoring in Economics. From a young age, he has pursued various entrepreneurial endeavors, most recently Tutortree, a tutor-student connection platform for College campuses. Tutortree raised over 13k in funding as well as the University of Oregon’s Startup of the Year award in 2019. Under the mentorship of Jonathan Evans, he has transitioned into a Product Analyst role as well as providing day to day concierge services to early customers.
Sara De La Rosa
Swiss U-Space Project Manager at AirMap