George Matus, inspired by his love of flying has created a revolutionary drone company called Teal, raising over 2 million dollars catching the eyes of drone flyers everywhere. On top of that, he’s only 22! I recently stumbled upon this young entrepreneur in my search for Young Achievers. Let’s dive into his story.
“I was worried, initially, that age would be a factor, age did not turn out to be a factor and actually, it can be a benefit in some ways.”George Matus
Born in 1997 in Salt Lake City, George Matus fell in love with flight after flying a radio-controlled plane at age 10. Since then, he flew everything he could get his hands on. Helicopters, planes, drones, you name it. He ran lemonade and hot chocolate stands, did magic shows and babysat so he could earn enough money to buy the next asset to his flight collection.
“My parents always told me to find my passion.”George Matus
From then on his passion grew. At 12, he became a test pilot for a big drone company. It saved him money while also giving him experience with top of the line drones of various designs. All the while, ideas were exploding in his mind.
“I built this wish list of everything that I would want in a drone if I were to build my own.”
Finally, with all this new knowledge he decided to get to work creating his own drone. Some of his earlier designs varied, from a drone that could fly for 2 hours and carry up to 25 pounds, to a drone that could reach a speed of 100 miles per hour.
He wanted to take everything that’s great about all the drones out there, speed, play, business, surveillance, video, photography and combine it all into one. Over the years he worked countless hours on different designs and software for his drone, making sure they met everything on his wish list.
He had the idea, he had the design, now all he needed was the funding. In 2014, George was still in high school, had braces, and no driver’s license. All he had was an idea.
To get the financial support, George joined and got accepted for the Thiel Fellowship created by Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal and Palantir Technologies. Every year 20 to 25 students around the age of 20 are chosen and given $100,000 to kickstart their business idea. With that and an extra $150,000 received in pre-revenue funding, he set off. In 2015, he founded Teal. Following the launch George, now 16-years-old was able to raise a seed funding of 2.8 million dollars to grow his company. 2.8 million dollars…
His first consumer drone for sale was Teal Sport. With an onboard camera and top speed of 80 miles per hour, it’s a drone racers favorite and great for hobbyists. But George wasn’t done just yet. He still wanted to make that dream drone. Three years later, the Teal One drones were released. It was a huge hit and sold out fast.
The Teal One drone was made to be accessible and easy to use for everyone. You can control the Teal One with a controller, or just your phone. The drone is fit with a super computer and built in AI system. This allows anyone, at any age to engage the flight bubble mode and fly the Teal One safely and easily.
The Teal app also allows you to play interactive VRL games with flyers anywhere in the world at any time. Bringing people out of the dark and into the world, as George puts it.
The Teal One model has a 4k video camera and can reach a speed of 60 miles per hour. That’s twice as fast as the DJI Phantom 3. Due to that speed, there’s a higher risk of crashing. Teal helps solve that obstacle by making the propellers modular and easily replaceable.
George also hopes that the Teal drone can help big corporations and enterprises in making jobs that were before dirty or even dangerous, way easier and possibly enjoyable for people.
George Matus and the 30 employees working at Teal are putting consumer drones aside as they focus on their recently made deal with the U.S army to create surveillance drones. The U.S army, after banning the use of Chinese drones, made a deal with 11 drone companies with a 11 million dollar building fund. Teal was one of the chosen ones.
“As long as you have a clear passion and a purpose for what you’re doing, and believe in it and have conviction you can make some really cool things happen.”George Matus
George Matus is a phenomenon, not only as a drone designer, but as a young entrepreneur. He went from a kid with a love for flying to becoming a millionaire, all from listening to his intuition and acting on his dream.
You can too. If you take the steps, like all the Young Achievers I’ve written about, opportunities will come and take you to new heights. 😉