Avkin® was founded in 2015 by a nurse educator to resolve the disadvantages of current simulation technology. Our team developed a product line which combines the best of standardized patient programs and patient simulators by creating wearable technology with haptic feedback. Our line of products provide medically complex simulated learning experiences while using patient actors to maintain realism. In addition to our wearable simulators, Avkin® provides standardized patient education and simulation facility training for a seamless transition to bedside practice. By enhancing the training process, we provide the highest fidelity possible and give current and future healthcare providers the most realistic environment in which to safely practice.
Avkin® provides a new and innovative way of learning through the use of our uniquely designed, wearable technology like Avcath™, Avtrach™ and Avstick™.
Amy Cowperthwait is CEO of Avkin. Amy has been a leader and advocate of simulation education since 2006 while working as clinical faculty at the University of Delaware. In 2009 she co-founded Healthcare Theatre with faculty from the Theatre Department as a pilot IPE between theatre, nursing and physical therapy. The team developed an undergraduate course that teaches enrolled students to become simulated patients (SPs) /family members/confederates for a variety of health care simulations across disciplines. This program offers a low-cost solution to SPs while providing an educational experience for all involved in the simulation experience. Healthcare Theatre has grown exponentially offering a magnitude of collaborative simulation experiences for both academia and clinical practice.
In 2015 Amy was selected to be a part of a yearlong National League for Nurses Simulation Leadership Program. This year of mentoring and networking afforded Amy the vision and passion to move forward with Avkin after the team won first prize for Technology Innovation at the International meeting for Simulation in Healthcare. Since January 2015 the Avkin team has been selected for over $250,000 in external grant funding, furthering the research and development of the business and product line.
Mike is an experienced entrepreneur with two prior startups under his belt, and he is driven to make the world safer and healthier through technology commercialization. Prior to joining Avkin, Mike served for five years as CEO of Graphene Frontiers, a nanotechnology materials and sensor development company. Mike is a technology geek at heart: He holds a degree in History of Science from Princeton University and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School, completed the NSF I-Corps program in Technology Commercialization at Stanford University with Steve Blank, and is a Certified Patent Valuation Analyst.
Amy Bucha, Chief Scientific Officer, serves as the research lead and supply chain coordinator. Amy graduated from the University of Delaware in 2014 with her Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. While doing both her graduate and undergraduate work she served as program coordinator for the Perry Initiative, a non-profit focused on inspiring young women into STEM leadership careers. Her main area of specialty within the company will be to serve as technical lead on product design, research development, and liaison between the University of Delaware and Avkin. Currently, Amy also coordinates communication with outside vendors on design changes and establish key partners for the supply chain. Her logistical prowess and unwavering dedication to get the products from concept to production is astounding.
In May of 2015, Amy approached Shelly to request help in developing her start-up business. This opportunity was presented, and due to Shelly’s previous experience as a business entrepreneur, was accepted her offer very quickly. Shelly’s career path has included many different fields. During the 80’s, Shelly’s focus was in the banking industry she started at the entry level and quickly rose to management positions. In 1990 she and her husband partnered with another individual to launch a two-way radio communications business, which is a highly successful business today. After the company was on a firm footing Shelly returned to the financial industry till 2000 where she was hired as executive director of a non-profit lender in Wilmington, WEDCO. In 2007 Shelly accepted a position with another non-profit, the Urban Affairs Association where her primary duties include contract negotiations, special event logistics, building several database platforms for the membership, and event planner for the UAA’s annual academic conference. Shelly’s main duties include contract negotiations, facilitation of SBIR/STTR grant writing, and establishing databases for bookkeeping and customer acquisition.
Adam is an experienced customer service leader currently located in Denver, Colorado. He is passionate about inspiring and establishing a high performing sales team by building relationships and going above and beyond for Avkin's customers. He learned the skills of group sales, sales administrative tasks, talent recruitment, customer service, and team leadership through his time at White Lodging (Marriott) where he was a Restaurant Manager, Sales Administrative Assistant, and is currently a Sales Manager. He enjoys returning to his alma mater the University of Delaware on college recruiting trips and has successfully assisted several students through the hiring process. During his off days he enjoys snowboarding, hiking, traveling the world, sports, and staying active.
Jason loves serving with the Avkin team and being a part of creating a better education experience for both the learner and educator. He shares our passion to create more authentic simulations, greater confidence for learners, and ultimately better patient outcomes. Before working in healthcare, Jason spent several years in finance, sales, and education. He values a passion for learning new things and enjoys connecting with people from all walks of life. He and his wife (an OB RN), are parents to three very active boys (5,3,& 1). They enjoy getting outside, taking the kids on family “adventures" and playing paper, rock, scissors, for who has to change the next diaper. He is grateful to be using his skills and experience to serve our customers together with our dedicated Avkin team.
Megan Weldon enrolled in the Healthcare Theatre class at the University of Delaware in fall 2014 and took the advanced class the following semester. From that point forward she developed a passion for both acting and teaching through healthcare simulation. Shortly after completing that advanced class, Megan accepted a position at the university, developing standardized patient simulations and performing some of the administrative duties of Healthcare Theatre. Megan serves as lead theatre consultant for Avkin. Since the inception of the company, a new passion has emerged: identifying additional products that fit into the Avkin line. She has managed to combine her love of travel with her job by demonstrating Avtrach™ at conferences across the country. Though her mother is a nurse she always gets a kick out of the empathetic responses of the health care providers watching her perform. Megan will develop patient simulation experiences, provide support for customers desiring to educate their current SPs or establish a low-cost SP program and will build an educational certification program for SPs desiring to use our products.
Troy serves Avkin's online prescense including the website and social media platforms. He works with the sales, marketing, and administrative team to improve marketing stratagies.
Our mission is to imagine, create, and provide products that improve the learning experience and training of future healthcare providers. Through collaboration and ingenuity, Avkin® is dedicated to improving healthcare by significantly elevating simulation experiences.
Our products are specially designed to be user friendly. Even so, we understand that if a device goes down, you need help now! We will do our best to be there for you the minute you need assistance. Our support technicians are well-versed in our products; no cookie-cutter responses here!