The Lounge:
Blake Scholl

Founder and CEO, Boom Technologies INC

Blake Scholl is a familiar name in the ever growing tech industry in this digital age. He founded his first company, Global Wave Internet, in high school. He later sold it and dropped out of high school but went on to study at Carnegie Mellon.

The young pilot and technology entrepreneur said aviation has been part of his life even at a young age and by the time he reached college, flying planes had become a fun hobby.

“I've been flying for fun since I was in college,” Scholl told Air Cargo Update in an interview in Dubai where he presented his latest pet project, Boom Supersonic, the world's fastest commercial plane set to be tested next year. “I basically grew up in a world where our phones are getting better, our cars are getting better, but our airplanes are like those built in the 1960s. This makes no sense,” he said in disbelief.

Boom was hatched at a basement with five others and before long Scholl's startup idea snowballed into a major project at Silicon Valley, getting as much as $5 billion worth of orders from Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic.

After the first order was made, the group managed to raise more than $41 million, enough to build the prototype in Denver, Colorado, United States, Scholl's hometown.

Scholl began his career at Amazon.com. He developed and ran its automated advertising team, the world's first and largest-scale automated ad buying system, $300M P&L, as well as different internet apps, including the Kima Labs (Barcode Hero, TapBuy), later sold to Groupon, the American e-marketplace with presence in 28 countries. He said he first used his own money to start the Boom project before investors jumped in.

“After I left my last internet job,” said Scholl, “I thought I got to look into this and see if a startup could contribute something. We were very inspired by what Elon Musk (Tesla founder) and his team had accomplished. You can have a small private startup team that goes and accomplishes so much.”

“The fundamental technology is there. It's a matter of developing it and bringing it to the market. Challenging but not impossible. I believe it's really important as a founder to work on something that you're really passionate about,” he added.

The Boom Supersonic passenger plane is designed to be faster than the French-British 1960 joint venture Concorde with a 2.2 Mach speed. It will also be less costly to operate with new technologies now in use.

Its entry in the market is seen to revolutionize the way people travel, cutting by half time spent to reach destinations. For instance, a flight from Dubai to Sydney which takes 14:51 today, will take just 8:17 flying supersonic. Similarly, Dubai to New York will be 7 hours and 35 minutes versus 14 hours today.

Boom is also seen to rival major aircraft manufacturers across the globe that had long dominated the aviation industry once it's been tested fit for commercial use.

Boom was born out of Scholl's passion for flying and the will to develop something more technologically advance. For those who want to follow in Scholl's footsteps, he says: “Prioritize your passion. When I was thinking of what company to start, I realized that it was hard. I made a list of all my ideas in descending order and then picked the things that I would personally be most excited about.”

“My experience has been, if you're working on something that you personally want to exist in the world, your passion is contagious and people would want to work with you. You learn faster. It's a cliché but it's very true. Find something that you love.” - Gemma Q. Casas