The U.S. Army placed a ban on Chinese drones a few years ago due to cybersecurity concerns. In the wake of such restrictions, there is now a demand for American-friendly drones to meet the Army’s combat expectations. Some of the requirements include flying up to 3 kilometers high, maintain 30 minutes of endurance, and be rugged enough to withstand varying weather and environmental conditions.
George Matus is the founder and CEO of Teal, a company he began when he was only 16. Teal is competing with six other drone companies for a lucrative $100 million Army contract. With the restriction of Chinese drones which dominate the global industry, these companies have to really work to differentiate themselves for such a competitive set of expectations. They all have until 2020 to present their prototypes for review. The prototype Teal One serves as an ideal launchpad as Matus builds upon its already impressive set of capabilities.
Despite its smaller stature, Teal has recently secured a total venture capital of over $20 million after completing a $13.5 million round with Utah and Silicon Valley capital firms. Fortunately for Matus, his age does not seem to be a factor in the race for the Army’s drone contract.