Texas Tech University

PhD Students Aim to Change How Scholars Look for Collaboration

Kathryn Dankesreiter, TTU Innovation Hub Team

August 2, 2021

Twine provides a platform where scholars will easily look for teammates ready to collaborate on research projects and academic articles.


Startup entrepreneur and CEO of Twine, Bogdan Olevskiy, is developing a networking web-based platform to help spur innovation and research throughout the university system! The team consisting of Ph.D. students Bogdan Olevskyi, Iryna Konopkina, and software engineer Ryan Todd Garza seek to solve a problem academics have faced for the past decade.

“In academia, publications are the key to success as they determine how quickly a researcher climbs the career ladder.” Olevskiy told us, "Due to the highly intensive working routine, scholars choose to team up with each other to accomplish research projects and academic publications because it is faster and more convenient… But the market still misses an appropriate tool for looking scholars based on their ideas".

The answer? Twine. The professional matching site aimed at furthering academic collaboration across fields to promote innovative ideas. “We jokingly compare our service to the 'serious' dating apps as Twine matches scholars with their peers through research ideas and willingness to work together.”

Unlike communications between researchers in professional social networks, like LinkedIn, Twine encourages “project-centric collaboration”. “We in Twine believe that in such an intense academic environment, scholars deserve an effective solution for searching projects that wait to be accomplished and researchers that are looking for collaboration.”  

Ready. Set. Launch!

With his background in Hospitality and Retail Management, Olevskiy noticed the opportunity to develop an efficient academic collaboration tool and took the leap. " I saw an opportunity and decided to make a move. … I would say it was a primary combination of the right circumstances and a willingness to take a risk [that led me to start Twine]."

This led Olevskiy to the Innovation Hub's programs. After completing NSF Regional I-Corps, Twine had cemented their target market and their goals. “The true confirmation of our target market happened after a customer interviews process during the NSF Regional I-Corps program. Under the Hub's mentorship, we crystallized our company's vision and strategy to make the first steps towards product-market fit.”

Olevskiy got the impulse to apply to the Texas Tech Accelerator program after seeing an advertisement for the 2020 Discoveries to Impact Week Keynote featuring Jan Bednar. “[Applying to the Accelerator program] was an obvious choice for us. Right now, I can definitely say that joining the Accelerator was one of the best decisions made for the sake of Twine's success.”

While Twine is just in the beginning stages of the Texas Tech Accelerator program, Olevskiy shared their ambitious goals for the startup. “We see our service as a centralized ecosystem for academia, where everyone will have access to research and contribute to the development of science.

Eventually, we want to grow our company to the international level, allowing scholars to engage with each other on research projects worldwide. Moreover, we believe that our platform can be expanded by integrating industrial experts for collaboration on business-focused problems.” 

What's Next for Twine

Currently, the attention of Twine's team is focused on the platform's further development. "We need to finalize all features provided in our service for the successful beta testing of the MVP." Additionally, Twine will approach their potential users and structure a plan for initial customer acquisition during the platform's beta testing.

Twine's mentor team, composing of Alejandra Marin, Kimberly Gramm, Wayne Moore, Atul Parvartiyar, and Sandra Ryan, assists Olevskiy and Konopkina in aspects of marketing, operations management, and product development. “The program provides a unique mentorship as well as an entire ecosystem for start-ups development. We are extremely excited to have such experienced mentors who perfectly understand our needs and give us valuable insights.”