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Vernadsky Challenge 2019: new cities, new rules, new talents

22 Apr 2019

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv was transformed as it hosted the Noosphere Space Summit – a 2-day international space conference – April 17 – 18. The Vernadsky Challenge took place on Day One of the Summit.

Vernadsky Challenge 2019 gathered nearly 80 applications worldwide from various startups. The change in venue was not the only major update for Vernadsky Challenge 2019 – this year competing startups were divided into two sections: Space Technologies and Active Bioelectronics.

The event kicked off with a welcome from event hosts – Ruslan Dementeevskiy, veteran Noosphere event host, and 10-year-old Kyrill Blagodarov, award-winning robotics, graphics and programming competitor and amateur rocketry designer.

After a brief opening speech, the hosts announced this year’s panel of judges:

– Michael Ryabokon – the co-founder of Noosphere and Vernadsky Challenge

– Viktoriya Tigipko – the creator of international fund TA Ventures

– John Isella – a director of international business development at Firefly Aerospace

– Laurent Jaffart – Head of Constellations and Future Solutions, Sales & Marketing at Airbus Defence & Space

– Luca Rosettini – CEO and founder at D-Orbit

– Viktor Martyniuk – science prorector at KNU, Sc D, professor

– Arthur Dula – Space Lawyer, Patent Attorney, CEO and founder at Excalibur Almaz

– Stewart Rogers – VentureBeat journalist

– Darya Chaika – head of innovations and technology transfer at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine

– Dmytro Cheberkus – head of a science directory at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine


Michael Ryabokon – the co-creator of Noosphere and Vernadsky Challenge

Following a quick Q&A between the audience and judges, we heard from a Vernadsky Challenge 2017 winner, Racoon World, after which the pitches for the 10 finalists started. Each finalist presented their projects and fielded questions from both judges and audience.

At the end of Day One of the Summit, the judges announced the winners of Vernadsky Challenge 2019:

3rd place and 400 000 UAH – Impulsar project
Impulsar project has developed a smart bracer that collects and analyzes the pulse rate, emotional state and body position data. The concept is to help people who suffer from autism and epilepsy to monitor and analyze the data so it can warn caregivers of impending seizures.

2nd place and 600 000 UAH – MyDraco
MyDraco is a vertical thrust electric vehicle with a fixed wing intended for two passengers. The small flying vehicle is designed to be fully ecological and able to charge from a home electric network.

1st place and 1000 000 UAH – Esper Bionics

Esper Bionics is a social enterprise project developing devices to restore and enrich the human body and quality of life. Currently, the project has developed a functioning prototype of the Myoelectric bionic prosthetic hand.

The organizers handed the prizes to the winners, after which all the finalists went on stage and took a group photo.

Congratulations to all the outstanding entrants and we look forward to the next Vernadsky Challenge!