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Feb. 11, 2023 7:00 AM PST

Blake Resnick’s life changed forever on October 1, 2017, when a shooter opened fire on the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest country music festival. While he was safe at his Las Vegas home, his best friend was near the shooting and called Resnick for help. It was a traumatic and sobering moment for Resnick, who at 17 became obsessed with how technology could have assisted first responders. It led Resnick to found Brinc Drones, a startup that creates drones equipped with a camera and a two-way audio system for police to survey active crime scenes.

It’s a tricky space he hasn’t always navigated gracefully—in late 2021, Resnick was widely condemned after the leak of a 2018 video that showed the teenage founder proposing to put tasers on drones for policing the U.S.-Mexico border. Resnick has since apologized and promised the company would never arm its drones. Despite the scandal, Resnick, now 22, has maintained support from Silicon Valley heavyweights: He raised a $25 million Series A in 2021 from Index Ventures, Sam Altman, and Elad Gil. Resnick walks us through his journey, from building a nuclear reactor at 14 to helping police save victims from the Miami condo wreckage.

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