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Most CEOs only have to worry about defending their company from competitors. For the past year Volodymyr Levykin, the CEO and founder of British rocket company Skyrora, has carried the weight of some of his staff defending their home country from invasion.

One year on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Levykin, a Ukrainian-born tech entrepreneur, talks to the UKTN Podcast about the effect it has had on Skyrora and how the company’s UK team has rallied to keep its goals of building a satellite “taxi service” on track.

Levykin, who spent time working in IT in Silicon Valley before moving to Edinburgh to found Skyrora, tells UKTN Podcast host Jane Wakefield about the challenges of entering the commercial space market, how his company is different from SpaceX and how civilian space tech has become an asset in defending Ukraine.

Levykin used private funds to launch the company in 2017, which is building launch services for small satellites. Skyrora became the first company to complete a successful integrated rocket stage test in the UK since the 1970s, and has completed four suborbital rocket launches.

Elsewhere on the show, the latest in a series of conversations with founders of high-growth UK tech companies, Levykin discusses tackling space debris, why Scotland is a space tech hub, and reveals whether he would go on a trip to Mars.

Listen to the full episode here, along with all previous episodes of the UKTN Podcast.

The UKTN Podcast is sponsored by Deazy, a tech build platform enabling cost-effective, flexible and scalable development services.