Blog: International Connections

International Connections: Coming Oct. 2018!

September 28, 2018

Starting in mid-October, the Seattle University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) will welcome two Professional Fellows from Russia, Danil Konovalov and Anton Zemskov. They will be joining us through the American Council’s Professional Fellows Program.

The purpose of this two-way exchange program is to build sustainable and lasting partnerships between emerging leaders from various countries and the United States. The Professional Fellows Program is sponsored by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Though this cohort of Professional Fellows is from Russia, the American Council administers the program for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Turkey, and the Ukraine (excluding the YSEALI countries).

How Does it Work?

One Cohort comes in a group of 25 Professional Fellows, and they begin with a conference in Washington D.C. They are then divided into smaller groups and sent to various institutions across the country (like the IEC). They then complete their fellowship in the designated institution throughout the next month, summing up to submitting an outbound proposal. Once the proposal is approved, the American counterpart will travel to the home country of the Fellow to complete the proposed project.

The IEC has been hosting Fellows primarily from the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), however this cohort of fellows comes from the Russian initiative.  Logistically, there is not much of a difference between the tasks that will be accomplished between the different initiatives, however a new perspective and culture will be brought into the walls of Seattle University.

Not only do we want to welcome the Fellows to Seattle’s innovative and entrepreneurial culture, we also want the students of Seattle University to experience a world from other person’s eyes. The experience has proved to be successful and filled with fun in the past, so we are more than looking forward to foster these new experiences again. The IEC has been hosting Fellows since 2016 hosts two cohorts a year: one in the fall, and one in the spring. This will be 5th cohort the IEC has hosted, and we are more than excited to welcome them!

 Meet the Fellows

In his role as Director of the Technology Transfer Center, Mr. Zemskov is working to build a solid ecosystem that supports and accelerates businesses. He is directly responsible for overseeing all innovative activities and ideas from the university as well as integrating science into community industry. He also promotes and supports small businesses that manufacture and deliver high tech products. Mr. Zemskov has been in the university system for five years and has had success in building the innovation ecosystem. He is interested in commercialization and best practices in supporting business development. While in the U.S. Mr. Zemskov would like to gain experience with business acceleration and innovation as well as systems for supporting and developing SMEs. He would also like to learn more about the market of intellectual property.

Mr. Konovalov is a Founder of a Venture Fund that works with startups in Russia and Uzbekistan. He oversees selection of startups, providing them with funding as well as educational programs. Mr. Konovalov also works for the Internet Initiatives Development Fund, the most active early-stage venture fund in Russia and Europe. As Head of the Online Traction Program, Mr. Konovalov is responsible for all aspects of strategic planning as well as creating new online learning methodologies for beginning entrepreneurs. Additionally, he founded a three-week online acceleration program at IIDF that currently has 70-80 participating startups. Mr. Konovalov works mainly with Russian entrepreneurs and businesses and is interested in learning how innovative businesses develop and are supported in the U.S. He would also like to learn ways to adapt U.S. best practices and strategies of innovation to the Russian model.