Welcome to our blog! We started this initiative to keep you updated on our progress and to log what we've learned - both in our research and in our company development. Our goal is to share the inner workings of Kinnos and to make this blog as useful as possible.
But first - some catch up. Kinnos is currently in hardcore product development mode. Since winning the USAID Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge, we snagged some lab space at Columbia and have been working hard to optimize Highlight's formula. We're validating how Highlight performs in different environmental conditions (e.g. color-fading rate on a hot, dry day vs. cold and humid) and adjusting the formula to tackle tough problems like prolonging contact time before evaporation. One of the best parts about working within Columbia is the access to smart people and awesome equipment. We've been running a few experiments in the Carleton Lab's solar simulator room, which can go up to two sun power (we stick with one). Within the next few weeks, we'll be sending samples of Highlight to the Center for Infection and Immunity and the National Institutes of Health for antiviral potency testing. More updates to follow!
Some other developments that have happened in the last few months:
- We presented at the White House for the USAID Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge event in April. Best part was meeting the other teams and seeing the tremendous drive and shared motivation to protect lives. Look out for a video in August that's featuring us and a few other teams.
- We went through the competition circuit - there's a surprising amount of money floating around for undergraduate teams. Competitions are a great way for college-based start-ups to get non-dilutive capital, and it also forces the team to sit down and think about things like market and business strategy. To name a few, we were winners of the Columbia Venture Competition, a recipient of the VentureWell E-Team grant, and a finalist in the Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition (highly recommend all of them!).
- Columbia has been absolutely phenomenal at helping us network. We were invited to pitch at Columbia's Future of Urban Innovators conference, present in front of the Board of Trustees, and provide insight at Columbia's Entrepreneurship Advisory Council.
Although not on a scheduled basis, we aim to regularly provide meaningful content alongside our company updates on this blog. We're excited for the journey ahead!