Max Polyakov

Max Polyakov, Vernadsky Challenge initiator

Born in Ukraine, Max Polyakov is a businessman with more than 17 years of hands-on experience in technology and engineering. He is also a philanthropist and the thought leader of several educational and innovation events.

In 2017

Max Polyakov was awarded the title of FAI Companion of Honor.

Max Polyakov is the founder and advisor of a number of startups that grew into international businesses. These include companies such as HitDymanics Ltd., IT-Ukraine, Cupid Plc. and Maxymiser Ltd.

Before starting his professional career, Max Polyakov received a Ph.D. in International Economics in 2013 for scientific research on the future of information technologies in the worldwide economy.

Beginning in 2016, Max Polyakov founded several companies specialized in the space industry, such as EOS - a service that analyzes Earth observation data. As a Noosphere Ventures General Partner, Maxim Polyakov bought the assets of a company that builds small launch vehicles and reorganized it into Firefly Aerospace.

Dr. Max Polyakov also initiates and supports programs dedicated to the promotion of science and knowledge among the younger generation of Ukraine. He established the not-for-profit organization Association Noosphere, which organizes high-profile engineering festivals like BestRoboFest, invention competitions, like the Vernadsky Challenge, hackathons, conferences, and the like. Inspired by the ideas of the science pioneer, Volodymyr Vernadsky, Association Noosphere also coordinates the Noosphere Engineering School project which unites academic knowledge and practical experience.

Maxim Polyakov gives a speech at the finale of the Vernadsky Challenge 2017

The idea of the Vernadsky Challenge, an annual startup competition, came to Max Polyakov in 2015. The next year Max Polyakov announced that the Vernadsky Challenge would focus solely on engineering startups.

Max Polyakov: 'The future belongs to engineering'

The future belongs to engineering. We are looking for people who are ready for productive work, challenges and experiments. That is how great ideas are born.

- Dr. Max Polyakov

Dr. Polyakov supports the winning engineering startup teams with grants and special prizes. He believes that initiatives like the Vernadsky Challenge improve the Ukrainian entrepreneurial ecosystem and help to implement more innovative and valuable products.