Tough Tech: The Kinnos Mission

Get to know infection prevention startup Kinnos, co-founded by Columbia alumni, and how it’s revolutionizing disinfectant solutions to protect patients and communities worldwide. 

Nov 09 2023 | Video Credit: Jane Nisselson/Columbia Engineering

Credit: Jane Nisselson/Columbia Engineering

What began as a response to a Columbia design challenge for solutions to the 2014 Ebola outbreak is now a company on a mission to protect the well-being of patients and communities worldwide.

In our new entrepreneurship series, Tough Tech, we catch up with Kinnos co-founders Jason Kang ’16SEAS and Katherine Jin ‘16CC, for a VIP tour of the labs at their Brooklyn headquarters. Interviewed by our own Harry West, who leads Columbia Engineering’s human-centered design-innovation curriculum, the Kinnos team demos their pioneering colorization disinfectant technology and shares how they’re creating solutions to make the world a cleaner and safer place. 

The team’s 2014 design challenge idea–a powdered dye that could be added to a cleaning solution, making it easy to see when a surface had been disinfected–answered the call for immediate impact. When the team, which included original member Kevin Tyan ‘16CC, visited an Ebola hotspot and applied the product, one of the frontline workers told the then-students, “This is the first time in the entire outbreak that I’ve really felt safe.” 

In the years since, Kinnos has evolved into a business booming with momentum and ready to help take on the rise in infectious diseases.Over nearly a decade, the team has developed a comprehensive system leveraging color technology to revamp how we use disinfectants to help protect people and prevent the spread of disease.

Kinnos, which secured an additional $15 million in funding this spring and named an industry veteran as its new CEO, continues on its global mission to help health care professionals, patients, and those on the frontlines of potential future pandemics stay safe and protected. 

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