An El Segundo company has formed to make Elon Musk's hyperloop vision a reality.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. has launched to develop a prototype of the high-speed transportation system that would take travelers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes.
The company was formed out of El Segundo incubator JumpStartFund, which crowdsources ideas and then funds them through accredited investors. Marco Villa, a SpaceX veteran, and Patricia Galloway, a civil engineer, have been brought on to manage the newly minted company.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. announced this week that it will receive help for the project from Canonsburg, Pa., engineering software company Ansys, Seattle firm GloCal Network Corp. and UCLA Architecture & Urban Design.
SpaceX and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk revealed the plans for the hyperloop over the summer and challenged the public to turn it into a viable mode of transportation.
Villa said he was excited by the challenge of figuring out how to develop a futuristic-sounding technology; the hyperloop plans involve shooting people in capsules at high speeds.
"I found it an extremely interesting engineering challenge," he said. "I used to work in space environments. It takes a lot of the challenges that I'm used to and brings them down to earth."
JumpStartFund is helping the company hire a core team of 30 to 50 employees through its crowdsourcing platform. The company has received applicants in Australia and Asia, said JumpStartFund Chief Executive Dirk Ahlborn. Many of the initial team will work remotely in exchange for stock options.
The company's first goal is to update Musk's white paper by spring this year. It will then look to build and present a prototype by early 2015.