European Youth Award Winner Anton Holovachenko Is Building An Exoskeleton

Published on:

Ukrainian entrepreneur Anton Holovachenko was awarded the European Youth Award in 2015 for his startup UniExo. We've talked to him to find out what happened since then. Learn more:

Anton, please describe yourself in 50 words or less.

I studied at the National Aviation University in Ukraine, majoring in systems engineering in the field of robotics and unmanned aerial vehicles. Before founding my startup UniExo, I was engaged in robotic technologies for 7 years, 4 years in programming, and 5 years in prototyping. One of my early projects was a robotic car that I created back in 2010, but now I would say it was more of a scientific research rather than a startup.

How and why did you get involved with the entrepreneurial scene?

When I participated in the Ten Outstanding Young People Awards (TYOP) I met Ilia Kenigshtein (one of Ukraine’s top opinion leaders in IT), he suggested for me to start my own business which could help millions of people in the future. I realized that the product I had developed has the potential to be marketed globally, becoming available to the public. I decided to go with this ambitious idea.

In recent times Ukraine has been described as Europe’s “hotbed of innovation” because of its strong IT force among other reasons. How do you see the country developing in regards to entrepreneurship?

Although Ukraine, specifically Kharkiv, is full of IT talent, we’ve got one big challenge we have to overcome. The School of Engineering and the School of Business in Ukraine are two different things, meaning that we have highly educated people in both sectors – sectors that are not connected to each other. This results in excellent engineers, inventors, and innovators who create extraordinary things but do not have experience in doing business. In order to combine these parts, many entrepreneurs get involved in incubation and acceleration programs in other European countries to acquire the needed skills. In my opinion, this challenge has to be resolved to make Ukraine a ‘real’ entrepreneurial hotbed.

European Youth Award Winner Anton Holovachenko Is Building An ExoskeletonAs mentioned before, with UniExo you’re currently working on a universal medical robotic exoskeleton. What can you tell us about it? How did you come up with the idea?

UniExo is a revolutionary technology of rehabilitation. It is a modular exoskeleton, which will change stationary medical equipment to a wearable device, thus improving rehabilitation movements of people without additional medical help.

2 years ago a misfortune happened in my family, my grandmother’s right hand got paralyzed and I wanted to solve this problem. At that time Iron Man 3 was hitting cinemas, and it was there, where I saw the modular suit of Tony Stark. This very suit inspired me to create my own technology of a modular exoskeleton.

Where do you see the trend of biotechnology going? How do you think it will influence everyday life?

I see a lot of biotechnology trends happening in DNA editing and the reconstruction of damaged tissues and nerve endings in humans. In the near future biotechnology will have an impact on human’s life, as these technologies can help people developing at an exponential pace. There’s already a lot going on in the biotech sector and it’s not going to end anytime soon.

You were awarded the European Youth Award for UniExo in Graz, Austria, in 2015. What has changed since then? Did the award influence your or your startup’s development?

We are now in the midst of further developing our project and have found a few partners and mentors who helped us to produce pre-industrial prototypes of an exoskeleton. The award gave us these opportunities, but not only that, it is also a sign of high appreciation. Since the process of the project’s selection is a highly difficult task, investors and partners understand that UniExo is a high-tech project which will have a global impact.

2016 you came back to Graz to attend EYA. Out of the people and ideas present: Which were the ones that impressed you most?

When I returned to Graz for the EYA 2016, I was glad to see many new and promising projects. The best one, in my opinion, was, which is an online job platform enabling refugees to access the labor market. Refugees can register for free, easily create online profiles, and get information about educational and job offers. I also saw that entrepreneurs are becoming younger and younger, which is great and speaks for the courage of these talents!

What the most important advice you can give to first-time founders?

Think about the future, do not be afraid to try new things, develop creative and critical thinking, do not be afraid to bring your ideas to life.





Sharing is caring