Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Skyrora
Volodymyr Levykin is a space and tech entrepreneur with a longstanding record of launching and managing successful innovative businesses in the UK and Silicon Valley.
Volodymyr founded Skyrora, a British satellite-launch company, in 2017 using private funds to launch and grow the company from a handful of individuals to 130 employees by 2020, with a head office in Edinburgh (UK) as well as an extensive workshop and engine testing facilities around the country. In 2021 alone, Skyrora has seen a 30% increase in employee growth.
Skyrora's many recent achievements include being awarded a €3 million contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the Boost! programme to ensure that the company is able to complete at pace the development of its launch vehicle technology. The company successfully conducted a series of 100 static engine firing tests including a vacuum chamber engine test of the 3rd stage LEO engine in order to imitate space-like conditions to further the process ahead of launch in 2023. Skyrora successfully tested plastic waste eco-fuel known as Ecosene on its 3.5kN LEO engine, designed to be used in the upper stage of the Skyrora XL rocket. In 2020, the company re-structured its manufacturing division and allocated engineering personnel to start producing face visors using 3D printing facilities and producing hand sanitiser for local communities around Scotland. Skyrora was awarded Gold in the “Company of the Year, Aerospace & Defence, Medium Size” category and additionally awarded Silver in the “Most Valuable Corporate Response” category for its COVID-19 response. The company has also received its CleanTech Award at the 2021 Go:Tech Awards.
Volodymyr was running an IT business in California when he decided to move back to his previous home in Edinburgh with his family, where he started Skyrora.
Prior to his move to the USA, Volodymyr was the Managing Director of an AIM-listed e-commerce business based in Scotland, with over 600 employees worldwide, eventually selling his stake in the company and moving to Silicon Valley.