Blake Scholl, the founder of a startup working to develop a supersonic commercial jet, has put a lot of his net worth into his mission of making high-speed flight the norm. Scholl founded Boom Technology Inc., known as Boom Supersonic, in 2014. As of December 2020, the company has raised funding to bring its valuation above $1 billion.
On June 3, United Airlines announced that it was the first U.S. airline to sign a commercial agreement with Boom Supersonic. United will purchase 15 of Boom Supersonic’s “Overture” airliners, provided that Overture meets United’s requirements for sustainability, safety, and operations, with an option to buy 35 more.
Blake Scholl's career
From an early age, Scholl, who grew up in the Cincinnati area, had an interest in aviation. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon, followed by a period as a software engineer at Amazon.
Scholl also co-founded Kima Labs, a mobile technology startup, in 2010. Groupon acquired Kima Labs in 2012.
Boom Supersonic has raised a total of $241.1 million, according to recent Crunchbase data. Its first seed funding round took place in 2015. In April 2021, the company held a venture capital funding round that raised $45 million, led by Prime Movers Lab.
The Colorado-based startup is privately held and plans to build supersonic airliners holding 65-88 seats. The planes are still in the design phase, with plans for a scaled-down prototype to fly sometime in 2022, according to Bloomberg.
In 2022, the company also plans to break ground on a new factory for the full-scale aircraft. It hopes to be testing commercial flights by 2026.
Blake Scholl’s net worth
Scholl’s current net worth isn't public knowledge. In a 2019 Forbes article, it said that he poured a large portion of his net worth into Boom Supersonic. Scholl said of the company, “I’ll know we’ve succeeded when high-speed flight is considered normal.”
Blake Scholl's goals for Boom Supersonic
Scholl has long said his goal with Boom Supersonic is to make high-speed air travel the mainstream rather than an outlier. As Bloomberg reported in December 2020, he said, “Our goal is to make high-speed jets the cheapest option out there.”
Scholl has said he expects flights to cost more in the range of business class fares early on. Eventually, the cost of flying on a Boom Supersonic airliner will likely decrease, much like Tesla as it moved from manufacturing solely luxury vehicles to electric cars closer to more people’s price range.
One of Boom Supersonic’s core values is sustainability. The company is committed to sustainability in every step of the manufacturing process. Boom Supersonic said that to make supersonic travel a widespread reality, it needs to protect the environment as well.
The Overture aircraft is designed to be net-zero carbon from the beginning. However, the aircraft is capable of flying at Mach 1.7, which is twice the speed of the fastest airliners.
“The world's first purchase agreement for net-zero carbon supersonic aircraft marks a significant step toward our mission to create a more accessible world," said Scholl in a press release about the agreement with United.