Warren Genik grew up in the back of his father’s computer store, one of the first to open in northern Manitoba. By the age of eight he’d tired of all the available computer games, so he decided to program his own. Building and designing became the game and he was teaching himself algebra and trigonometry well before it came up in school. In fact, one of his games became so popular with his fellow students that all the kids crowding around one computer annoyed his teacher. No problem for Genik – he built them a network system instead, allowing them to play remotely.
After he finished high-school Genik worked at a computer store in British Columbia while running IT contracts for local businesses. He enjoyed helping people and decided to take a job as a business lender at RBC, specializing in agricultural loans. However, he couldn’t stay away from computers and technology and continued with his consulting and web design business on the side. When mobile Apps came on the market he started developing those, shifting from Blackberry to Android, and working on contracts worldwide.
He enjoyed working with the local farmers and started to consider how his knowledge and background in technology could help make their lives easier. At the same time an opportunity came up to buy an acreage from his uncle who ran a grain farm back in Manitoba. Warren moved his young family to the farm and helped his uncle while continuing to think about the application of new technology to the agriculture industry.
At this time UAV’s were just coming onto the market and Warren and his uncle decided to invest in one to see if the data he could gather would help with farm operations. They’d heard the hype, but as Warren’s nature dictated – he had to test it for himself. They talked about how, if the technology worked, they could make it affordable and usable for the average farmer.
They’d just started planning when Warren’s uncle passed away unexpectedly in 2013 and the farm was shut down. Warren took on the research as part of his uncle’s legacy, and incorporated AgSky Technologies in early 2014. He began by reaching out to neighbour’s with farms and asking if he could map their land and talk to them about the results. From what Warren could surmise, drones worked great in Europe where the average farm is 100 acres or less, but in North America the land masses are in the thousands so the raw data the drone was collecting was not manageable for the average prairie farmer.
His programming experience came into play and he began writing software that could take the data from the drone and produce reports that could be easily understood by the farmers. He started to get good feedback from the people he was working with, and started to get paid for his services.
When attending an agriculture tradeshow he happened to meet Scott Hiebert from Green Aero Tech who at that point specialized in UAV retail and flight operations. Warren approached him about buying a new drone but when they talked further about what they both did they discovered how well they could compliment each other. They started to work on some contracts together with Warren focusing on the processing systems and data, while Scott handled the drone and flight logistics. It worked so well that by September they had merged their companies.
Warren’s uncle’s legacy is secure, with Green Aero Tech bringing on new clients, reaching new industries, and starting to gain traction in the US. The Green Aero Tech team is proud to be led by someone with such an incredible background, and dedication to his family and community. The focus of making the drone technology something that is affordable and actionable is part of our core purpose here at Green Aero Tech, as we believe passionately in empowering our clients.
When Warren isn’t focused on the drones or programming, he’s got another important project on the go with his two sons and daughter – a go-kart. Big outdoors fans you can find them out camping, motorcycling, swimming in the local lakes and skeet shooting.