February and March were very busy for our team as we interviewed with SpaceX and The Boring Company about our design. The interviews presented an opportunity for our sub-teams to explain the design rationale and answer important safety questions. This experience was significantly helpful for practicing our presentation skills and receiving feedback from engineers at those companies.
Exciting developments have also occurred on our funding side since a generous Cooper Union alum offered a fundraising match of 1:1 for up to $15,000! We hope to take full advantage of this opportunity by intensively reaching out to more potential sponsors. So far, we have successfully raised about a third of the amount and are on good track to completing the challenge by the end of the spring semester.
In March, we found out that our journey with the 2019 competition ended as a semi-finalist and one of the few teams to be selected for design interviews. As disappointed as we are not to qualify for the final phase of the competition, we are proud of having successfully ranked in the top 75% of all the competing teams within our first year. We not only managed to create an advanced design, but also proved that we are determined and hard working.
With these developments, we are taking all we learned this past year and the feedback from SpaceX and The Boring Company to improve our design and build a second iteration of the pod. By continuing to design, test, and build, we are determined to compete again next year with a design to qualify all the way.
In the coming months, we will concentrate on improving our design and building different subsystems of the pod. By doing so we will not only learn how to fabricate components from scratch in machine shops, but also troubleshoot potential complications. Thank you again to all our sponsors and we are excited for the new support from Luxoft, Blacktable Studio, and Cooper Union alumni!
We look forward to continue our work with the same enthusiasm and drive to build the Cooper Union Hyperloop!