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Excellence in Technology

Justin Cardoza of ModBox is the 2020 Excellence in Technology Solution Designer of the Year Award Winner

Justin Cardoza knows first hand the importance of keeping cameras, drones and other expensive, portable equipment changed, protected and ready to use. That's where the idea of ModBox originated, and why he's the Solution Designer of the Year.

By Rae Snobl

May 2020

Justin Cardoza of ModBox Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsJustin Cardoza is CEO and lead designer at ModBox—a startup that creates smart cases for drones. Because he started the business as the end user, Cardoza knew the consumer needs first-hand. Purchase Photo

Justin Cardoza has spent nearly 16 years in the media industry traveling around the world working with the latest cameras, drones and media technologies. Through this experience working for major media networks such as ABC, NBC, Discovery, FOX and CBS, he discovered that keeping cameras, drones, sound equipment and other portable tools charged and ready to go was a major issue. Cardoza worked for two years on a solution and designed the world’s first smart case for drones. Last year, he left his steady salary to start ModBox, which creates solutions for drones, media, construction, military, emergency services and security industries. Cardoza says drones are a $130 billion market with close to 3 million drones in use today. ModBox’s first product has more than 500,000 applicable users in the United States alone. “My goal is to make current and emerging technology easier for everyone,” Cardoza says. “Our cases have over a dozen features based on feedback from pilots around the globe.” Cardoza’s experience in different industries has given him a unique advantage in designing solutions for drone pilots and media creators. “I am the end user, and that has given me a strong head start in designing a product that I know professionals can use to get their work done faster,” he says. Cardoza is also passionate about encouraging and helping young content creators to build a career and improve their skills. He runs a group called CineSchool, an open community where aspiring photographers, designers and videographers can learn, chat and grow. “I share tutorials, advice and encouragement free of charge,” Cardoza says.

FINALISTS  //  Seth Kitchen  •  Myles Loffler

NAILED IT

“There have been times, where after discovering our product, a pilot will text me later saying: ‘I was just flying my drone for a job today, and I can’t fly without thinking about ModBox! I don’t know how I’ve been flying for so long without one!’ It’s an amazing confirmation that we’re onto something great.”—Justin Cardoza, Founder, ModBox

FAILED IT

“In January 2020, we received our first full prototype from a fabrication company. Being anxious to put it to the test, I took it to Aruba for its first job. Due to some small design flaws, it was the worst case I’d ever used. That’s what prototypes and testing are for, though. We’ve already fixed the design and are back to our goal of a great product I can stand behind as the best case out there.”—Justin Cardoza, Founder, ModBox