FaceOf: Nick Horbaczewski, Drone Racing League Inc. chief executive and founder

Nick Horbaczewski
Updated 16 September 2018
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FaceOf: Nick Horbaczewski, Drone Racing League Inc. chief executive and founder

  • The first season of the Drone Racing League was inaugurated in January 2016 and featured five races across the US

JEDDAh: Nick Horbaczewski is chief executive and founder at Drone Racing League (DRL) Inc. 

Horbaczewski founded the global drone-racing league in early 2015, and bought a company called DroneKraft to develop an internal technology department. 

He partnered with Ryan Gury, who serves as its director of product and who designed and built the league’s drones. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was one of the early investors in DRL. 

The first season of the Drone Racing League was inaugurated in January 2016 and featured five races across the US. It was broadcast in more than 40 countries, on SkySports, ESPN and ProsiebenSat.1, and more than 75 million fans tuned in to watch DRL races and content either online or on TV. The Drone Racing League has taken the first steps in delivering on the promise of futuristic, tech-enabled sport through a unique combination of live sports events, custom drone technology, and in-house film production to deliver the sport of the future.

Previously, Horbaczewski served at Tough Mudder, which are mud-run events designed by British Special Forces, a series of hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle races. During his time with Tough Mudder, which was less than two years, he served as chief strategy officer, chief revenue officer, and senior vice president revenue and business development.

He also worked at ADS, which serves the US Department of Defense, federal, state, and local agencies in support of homeland defense and homeland security operations. He worked there for over three years as vice president of corporate development. 

Horbaczewski is also the founder of Leeden Media, founded in 2006. He is the previous senior vice president revenue and business development.

In 2002, he received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in history and literature. Part of his graduate studies was obtained abroad at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School in 2008. 

Horbaczewski has received several awards and titles, being included in 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs, Guinness World Records: World’s Fastest Drone, Advertising Age Creativity Awards: Startup to Watch 2017, Cynopsis Sports Media Awards: Production Innovation, and Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2017. 

The final event of this year’s DRL championship was held on Sept. 14 in Saudi Arabia. It was hosted by the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones at King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah, where 10 of the world’s best drone racers competed to be crowned world champion. More than 4,000 spectators attended.


Major boost for Al-Jouf as Saudi king set to announce new city

King Salman arrived in Al-Jouf on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 21 November 2018
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Major boost for Al-Jouf as Saudi king set to announce new city

  • The king will launch Waad Al-Shamaal, a new city aimed at boosting the country’s mining infrastructure

JEDDAH: Projects worth several billion riyals are to be unveiled by Saudi Arabia’s king this week as he continues his tour of the country’s regions.
King Salman arrived in the province of Al-Jouf on Tuesday night where he will announce the construction of a new city, bolstering the local economy and creating thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia’s most northern region.
On Thursday, the king will launch Waad Al-Shamaal, a new city aimed at boosting the country’s mining infrastructure, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 
He will lay the foundation stone for the first phase of the SR85 billion ($22 billion) city in Toriaf province — worth SR55 billion —  and is also set to inaugurate the projects and facilities of the second phase — worth SR30 billion.
In the past two months the king has visited a number of major cities, announcing projects and initiatives to develop the Kingdom inline with Vision 2030 — a broad strategic plan to diversify the economy and end dependence on oil revenues.
Before arriving in Al-Jouf, King Salman visited Tabuk, where several projects worth more than SR11 billion were launched.
He also met the team heading Amaala, the ultra-luxurious tourist destination that was unveiled in September and dubbed the “Riviera of the Middle East,” and was briefed on plans for the new attraction.
King Salman praised Amaala’s objectives to contribute to promoting economic diversification, creating investment opportunities for the private sector, and developing the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia while preserving the cultural and environmental heritage.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced yet another major project in western Saudi Arabia.
Wadi Al-Disah Development Project, which is expected to become one of the Kingdom’s most environmentally diverse tourist attractions, adds to a number of already launched ventures on western coastal regions.
PIF will establish a company to develop Wadi Al-Disah in accordance with international best practices regarding environmental conservation and sustainable development.
In addition to this week’s tour, the king has so far visited Madinah, Qassim and Hail.