The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has named faculty members Ilya Avdeev and Anne Basting as the first two Kellner Entrepreneurship Fellows.
The fellowships are supported by the Mary and Ted Kellner Fund for Entrepreneurship, which was established in 2016through a gift from the Kelben Foundation to fund faculty and staff at the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center at UWM.
Avdeev is an associate professor of mechanical engineering. He is the principal investigator of the I-Corps Training Site in southeastern Wisconsin, which is a partnership among five Milwaukee universities that aims to help academic scientists launch startup companies He also co-founded the UWM Student Startup challenge and leads the UWM University Innovation Fellows program.
Basting is a professor of theater and has focused her work over the last 15 years on improving the lives of the elderly through long-term care embedded with cognitive art projects. She was recognized as a 2016 MacArthur Fellow for her eldercare program TimeSlips, which facilitates storytelling through imagination rather than memory and encourages intergenerational connections.
She also leads a “social enterprise” track in the Student Startup Challenge and has scaled her TimeSlips program through a nonprofit organization that offers certification and train-the trainer models.