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Dealing With Lockdown Issues as Hardware Startup CEO, Stas Gorbunov of AURA Devices Speaks Out

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Stas Gorbunov AURA Devices

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? 

Stas Gorbunov: I’m pretty fine, thank you. We got more time at home and reasons to spend time together.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded AURA Devices.

Stas Gorbunov: I started my professional career as a Java-developer and then turned to the Project Manager role at Rambler and InfoWatch. During the first steps at big corporates, we also tried to do startup projects. AURA Devices was started in 2016 when one of the founders finished his Master’s degree, and his final work was about bioimpedance analysis. We thought this tech would be interesting to implement, and it has great appliances in the fitness and professional sports industries. 

How does AURA Devices innovate? 

Stas Gorbunov: We’re making wearables that help athletes be more efficient by tracking their muscle growth, fat loss, and hydration levels changes. Knowing these parameters helps to understand if this training really helps you or not. 

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Stas Gorbunov: As a hardware company, we depend on the supply chain. If it is healthy and working as swiss watches, our business will grow and provide the best customer service. We had some issues with the manufacturing and logistics processes during the lockdown, but our experience helped us solve the problem. Now we’re operating as usual.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

Stas Gorbunov: CEOs should always make hard decisions based on limited information. The most important lessons I learned for the last few years is: 

 1) Become part of the audience that you’re trying to sell your product. It’s essential to understand needs and problems;

2) Learn on how to say no to the many ideas and paths around you; 

3) Innovate.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and AURA Devices in the future?

Stas Gorbunov: I’m trying to change my focus on something besides work: family, sports, even walking in good weather helps recharge your inner resources and deal with all the pressure. As a company, we were ready to lockdown and other COVID-19-features. We built a semi-remote team from day one, and it didn’t affect much. Just I couldn’t work in the office and meet team members who also liked to visit their workplace. 

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Stas Gorbunov: We have a lot of great competitors around (FitBit, Whoop, Garmin, Polar, etc.). We bring unique features of hydration and body composition measurement right on your hand. Our bioimpedance analysis experience allows us to do unique measurements of hydration levels and body composition tracking and provide to athletes precision information about their fitness efficiency that nobody does in this field. 

Your final thoughts?

Stas Gorbunov: Stay healthy, keep calm, and continue to innovate in your industry. 

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