Investors give a teenager 78 million euros to develop hydrogen weapons… but it doesn’t go well – Executive Digest

At the age of 19, Ethan Thornton founded Mach Industries, aiming to revolutionize the US defense industry with hydrogen-powered weapons in an effort to break away from the traditional reliance on gunpowder ammunition. The initiative attracted the attention of investors, but faced significant obstacles on the road to innovation.

Investors including Sequoia’s Shaun Maguire and Bedrock’s Geoff Lewis have pumped millions of euros into the company, valuing it in the hundreds of millions. However, the quick funding was preceded by a worrisome incident during the test, in which Thornton and another employee escaped an explosion while testing a hydrogen-powered weapon, Forbes reports.

Although Thornton’s vision attracted investors, the company faced difficulties in translating that vision into tangible products. Technical challenges, such as the cost-effective production of aluminum fuel for the “Prometheus” hydrogen generator, revealed gaps in the company’s ability to deliver on its promises.

In addition to the technical issues, the business culture of Mack Industries was also criticized. Employees reported a chaotic work environment characterized by immature leadership and questionable humor, disrespectful comments, and controversial analogies.

Despite the setbacks, Thornton continued in his mission to serve US national security interests. The company recently moved its headquarters to Huntington Beach, California and has made significant progress with the Pentagon.

The recent success of a military test flight demonstrates renewed capability for the company, which is now focusing on developing new products, such as the Viper drone, redesigned as a cruise missile.

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