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Fireside chat with Vladyslav Nykoliuk, Founder of VaxMe

Who is Vladyslav Nykoliuk?

I am Vladyslav Nykoliuk. An ambitious and motivated developer by nature and architect by nurture. Born in the vast lands of Ukraine and raised in New York City, I have had the pleasure of growing up in international cities that have always expanded my mindset and inspired me to learn more about the people I meet and places I visit. Ever since I was a child, I pondered on the certain aspects of life that can be improved through technology, or rather, through the appropriate implementation of technology. Trying to solve problems or face challenges bigger than me has been a catalyst in my ambition to educate myself and positively influence those around me.

After most of my life invested in the study of architecture, I made the transition to computer science in order to create a greater impact on the world through my endeavours.
Following my private school CS education in the picturesque city of San Francisco, I have come to the alluring realization that anything is possible given you put the effort into making it a reality.
This can be demonstrated by the thousands of startups that are created on a yearly basis, some with the potential of disrupting the market they plan to engross. Although technology itself is a relatively new concept, the most interesting time for technology is in the making and yet to come.

What is the story behind VaxMe?

When I began working on the project, the sole method of confirming whether a person received their Covid-19 vaccination was through a 4″ X 3″ paper card the CDC provided. Not only does that open the market for falsified vaccination cards, it also questions the integrity and accuracy of the vaccination proof initially thought out by the CDC. So, we adapted and created a secure application to verify a person has received their vaccination. A person can simply upload their vaccination card and their ID to verify their identity and we’ll verify they received their vaccination in a matter of minutes thanks to our well-versed API (that we hope to launch for public access soon). With the digital vaccination pass, they can get access to any public place or business that requires proof of vaccination to access the premise without a mask. So far, the team has grown to a solid group of 15 developers, engineers, designers, and operation managers working tirelessly to provide a certain level of service and satisfaction for people using Vaxme. Although we’re sure the biggest challenges are yet to come, we wait for them and embrace them as we only see it as a way to improve our product for our users.

What was the most difficult part of your experience in the early beginnings?

One of the most difficult parts of the project in the early beginnings was mobilizing a dependable team with expertise in their field. The second most difficult part was building the project on a stable codebase that is ready to scale at any time to support a large number of users. Many startups often undermine this aspect of their product, only building the product to the extent of usability, not scalability and in the end failing to provide a product people can use in the long term.

What are you most proud of regarding your business?

Personally I am most proud of the positive user feedback we’ve received from our friends and family using the pass in their everyday lives. User feedback is the most vital aspect of business development in any product or service in my opinion, as users outline the overall success of any business. With the user feedback, we’ve been able to improve Vaxme to better serve our users and custom tailor the product to ease their usability.

What is your vision for the future of VaxMe?

The main purpose of Vaxme is to provide a unanimous service that can be used throughout the world during and after the pandemic, enabling effortless healthcare access for people and giving them full control over the important aspects of healthcare in their life. In the near future, we’re focusing on building relationships to help spread Vaxme for international use.
Our long-term goal is to transform Vaxme into an ‘all type’ digital vaccination app servicing users from across the world looking to have access to their medical records.

What’s your advice for the businesses that are trying to adapt to this economic climate?

Be ready to innovate and scale. Make sure you study your target market before and after launching your product, as you will need to make certain adjustments depending on the constantly developing economic climate. In most cases, startups think they know what their potential customer wants only through market analysis and research, whereas the only way to truly understand what a customer needs is by talking to them and listening to what they have to say. We took this approach with Vaxme, and have in return, acquired loyal users that have placed their trust in us over another service.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

The first most impactful technology for Vaxme has been the QR Code, which allows us to quickly verify that a person has received their vaccination. The recent improvements in biometric technology have allowed us to provide our users with secure access to their private medical information. Since biometric technology is complex to break, it continues to be one of the most effective ways of ensuring a persons’ information is accessible only to them. On the backend side of our application, we’ve utilized cloud computing technologies such as AWS and Salesforce to ensure a swift connection with our server and secure access to private information.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – a story that inspired me to follow my ambitions and passions no matter how challenging the obstacles ahead may seem. The novel prompts several inner/personal questions most people live their lives not asking. Questions about what a person’s true passions are, and most importantly are they willing to make the sacrifices needed to achieve their passion(s). The foremost lesson of the story I have reserved is that the only answer to a person’s true passion is in their hearts, and only they can come to that realization.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss – a collective overview of Ferriss’ professional development and the aspects of life and work that can be improved if you analyze them and make the change. Ferriss focuses on the idea of being effective and efficient in anything we choose to put our time into, automating tasks that have the potential to be automated, and prioritizing tasks that provide the most value. The vital takeaway from the book is to figure out your true goals and materialize them to transpire.

Additional Links:

  • Vaxme: https://www.vaxmepass.com/
  • Website: https://www.vladyslav.us/
  • Github: https://github.com/vladyslavnUA
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vladyslav-nykoliuk/

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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