Maxym Polyakov


Maxym Polyakov


Max Polyakov (Maxim Valeriovich Polyakov)

Maxym Polyakov was born in 1977, in Zaporizhzhya, present-day Ukraine, and erstwhile Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Polyakov is now an American entrepreneur dealing with space and IT technologies, a philanthropist, and an investor.

Over the years of professional activity, Max Polyakov has founded and co-founded a series of companies, including EOS DATA Analytics, Firefly Aerospace, dating sites Cupid, gaming company Renatus, etc. He also inspired the creation of the non-profit company Noosphere Association and a Ukrainian engineering school. To this date, Polyakov is a general partner of the Association.

Academic background

Polyakov's parents are Ukrainian engineers from Zaporizhzhya. Both worked for a Ukrainian rocket company Hartron, which explains Polyakov's interest in rocket building.

Max Polyakov graduated from Dnipro University in 2011. By the and of 2013 he received a Ph.D. degree in International Economics . His thesis analyzed the paradigmatic model of information and its influence on the global economy.

Business endeavors

Right after graduating from the university in 2001, Polyakov founded his first company AlarIT Ukraine. AlarIT was engaged in software outsourcing, developing products for foreign clients.

However, Max Polyakov biography took a new turn in 2005. After partnering up with a British Bill Dobby, the two created IDE Group with headquarters in Edinburgh. Several projects, including Cupid, saw the light of day as the result of this partnership. Additional IDE Group projects include Maxymiser, Murka, and HitDynamics.

A year later, Polyakov decided to develop local IT projects aimed at the Ukrainian market. That is how aggregator sites,, and saw the light of day. Project offices were located in most major Ukrainian cities, including Polyakov's hometown Zaporizhzhya, Ukrainian capital Kyiv, as well as Dnipro and Kharkiv.

Starting 2006, Polyakov and partners started selling some of their successful projects. HitDynamics was sold to Hitwise.

In 2010, Cupid went public on the London Stock Exchange and was recognized as the fastest-growing tech project a year after.

By 2012, Cupid reached its peak of popularity with a capitalization value of $204.9 million and revenue of $125.4 million.

The same year, Polyakov founded a mobile gaming company Renatus developing software for Apple Store, Facebook, Google Play, and Amazon. He also moved to Silicon Valley in 2012. There, he co-founded a venture capital fund Noosphere Venture Partners.

American company Oracle bought another Polyakov's project, Maxymiser, in 2015.

A year later, Noosphere Ventures acquired a popular Q&A service,

EOS DATA Analytics

2015 became another year for Maxym Polyakov biography to take a new turn. This year, the entrepreneur decided to turn his eye to space tech instead of IT projects. Still, the IT experience has proven useful in creating EOS DATA Analytics with headquarters in the US and offices in Ukraine.

EOS is a cloud platform designed to analyze satellite data — mostly from ERS (Earth Remote Sensing) satellites for planet monitoring. As of today, hundreds of government, commercial, and educational companies use data provided by EOS DATA Analytics.

In 2019, EOS won the Land Transparency program tender initiated by the World Bank with the EU's support.

Firefly Aerospace

The interest in space technologies did not stop with EOS DATA Analytics. In 2017, Noosphere Ventures purchased an American aerospace startup, Firefly Systems, on the verge of bankruptcy. The company was founded in 2014 by an engineer Tom Markusik who used to work for such notable companies as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin.

Originally, Firefly was supposed to develop light and medium-class rockets Alpha and Beta, but the amount of attracted investment proved insufficient. That is where Max Polyakov and Noosphere Ventures stepped in. After purchasing the company with its  intellectual property and patents, Dr. Max Polyakov and partners rebranded the enterprise into Firefly Aerospace.

A year after the acquisition, Firefly was handpicked by NASA as one of the companies to take part in the new moon exploration program. The total value of the awarded contract reached $2.6 billion.

Another contract was signed in 2019 — this time, with Aerojet Rocketdyn, former Boeing division.

By November 2019, Firefly had already carried out a series of successful tests for its first- and second-stage rocket engines. The first Alpha launch was planned for 2020 from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Since 2019, Firefly has been collaborating with the US Air Force as part of the Orbital Services Program-4 (OSP-4).

More agreements soon followed. A contract with Spaceflight, signed in April 2020, presupposes launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2021.

As of May 2020, Firefly has all certifications, including AS9100, and has already moved from rocket design to development stage.

The first Alpha rocket launch took place on September 3, 2021, the rocket achieved a successful first stage ignition, as well as liftoff from the pad, and progression to supersonic speed.

Social Activity

Noosphere Engineering School (NES)

Along with entrepreneurial activity, Max Polyakov invested into social ventures. In 2014, he helped create a Noosphere Engineering School, NES, in Dnipro. The idea is to give the young people an opportunity to test and carry out their innovative projects. As of now, NES is a series of labs based in major Ukrainian technical universities. It has divisions in Kyiv, Dnipro, Cherkasy, Rivne, and Zhytomyr.

Noosphere Association

Another Dr. Polyakov's non-profit organization, Noosphere Association, was founded in 2016. Since then, Noosphere Association has organized a series of technical and scientific events. In particular, it closely collaborates with the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) on rocket modeling events.

Some of the most popular events organized by the Association include BestRoboFest (robotic festival) and an engineering competition Noosphere Vernadsky Challenge. Several notable figures, including a famous MythBusterJames Hyneman, attended as jury members.

Besides, Noosphere is actively working on improving Dnipro city infrastructure. Gagarin Park renovation was completed in 2019, and now, the Association is renovating the planetarium.

Personal Life

Married, has four children.

Awards and additional achievements

Over the years, Max Polyakov was recognized for his business and social efforts. In 2009, he received the "Entrepreneur of the Year" in Scotland.

In 2017, FAI granted an honorary award for Maxym Polyakov's contribution to improving the sports scoring systems.

In 2018, Polyakov won Ukraine's "Man of the Year" National Prize for his significant contribution to developing space tech in the country.

The same year, Cambridge University Press published a book, The Soviet Diaspora in the US Innovation Economy — Immigration, Innovation, Institutions, Imprinting, and Identity Paperback, on notable business figures, mentioning Max Polyakov.