From Ebola in West Africa to C. diff in hospitals, infectious diseases are hard to kill and highly contagious. During the Ebola crisis in West Africa, 1 out of every 20 people who died was a healthcare worker, and in U.S. hospitals, 1 out of every 25 patients will contract a healthcare-associated infection, leading to 75,000 deaths and over $28 billion lost in the U.S. healthcare system each year. Current disinfectants: 1) are transparent, making it easy to miss spots, 2) form droplets on waterproof surfaces, leaving gaps in coverage, and 3) evaporate too quickly to kill disease. This means that surfaces could still be contaminated even after cleaning, leading to infection.

Our solution is Highlight, a patent-pending additive for disinfectants that allows users to colorize, visualize, and fully cover surfaces, ensuring compliance and quality control to reduce the transmission of infection. Highlight's color also fades to clear over time to prevent staining on surfaces and to provid...
From Ebola in West Africa to C. diff in hospitals, infectious diseases are hard to kill and highly contagious. During the Ebola crisis in West Africa, 1 out of every 20 people who died was a healthcare worker, and in U.S. hospitals, 1 out of every 25 patients will contract a healthcare-associated infection, leading to 75,000 deaths and over $28 billion lost in the U.S. healthcare system each year. Current disinfectants: 1) are transparent, making it easy to miss spots, 2) form droplets on waterproof surfaces, leaving gaps in coverage, and 3) evaporate too quickly to kill disease. This means that surfaces could still be contaminated even after cleaning, leading to infection.

Our solution is Highlight, a patent-pending additive for disinfectants that allows users to colorize, visualize, and fully cover surfaces, ensuring compliance and quality control to reduce the transmission of infection. Highlight's color also fades to clear over time to prevent staining on surfaces and to provide real-time visual feedback of when decontamination is complete. Because it is only an additive, Highlight can be easily implemented without the need for new training, equipment, or overhauls in protocol.

Highlight is sold using a direct B2B sales model with dynamic pricing. Our two main customer segments are: 1) international NGOs and aid agencies for epidemic response, and 2) hospitals for daily disinfection.

Highlight is used by the Fire Department of New York, was a winner of the USAID Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge, and has been field-tested in Liberia and Guinea. Kinnos has additionally been recognized as winners of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, Collegiate Inventors Competition, and Columbia Venture Competition, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Healthcare.
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Mary Boyce

When Kinnos made it their mission to protect the lives of healthcare workers and patients during Columbia’s Ebola Design Challenge, I followed their journey closely. I have been impressed with their commitment and vision as they have progressed over the past year and a half. They were the only undergraduate team to win the USAID Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge, were recipients of the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Healthcare, and have made real traction with international medical NGOs, hospital systems in the US, and the Fire Department of New York.

To support Kinnos’s efforts, Kinnos was accepted into the Columbia Startup Lab and was awarded a cFund Ignition Grant. I strongly believe Kinnos has the potential to grow into a sustainable company, and the Tamer Fund will help enable Kinnos to translate their initial momentum into meaningful social impact. Their innovative solution to improving infectious disease decontamination will save many lives around the world.