Funders invest in people. How do you keep their support when a key person is no longer there?
Dr. Sonia Sousa was inspired to co-found Kenzen when her brother was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer after having been given a clean bill of health three months earlier. Stage 4 means the cancer has spread from where it started to another body organ. Her brother passed away four years later.
As a scientist working in a life-sciences company, she had used saliva as a means to detect the early onset of ovarian cancer. As an MBA, she recognized the huge business opportunity of using noninvasive monitoring technology, such as sweat analysis, to indicate that something wasn’t quite right with someone’s health.
Sousa quit her job and teamed with Steve Pecko, an expert in product user experience (UX/UI), marketing and branding. He had pricked himself tens of thousands of times since being diagnosed at the age of 3 with type 1 diabetes. He understood from firsthand experience just how important noninvasive measurement could be. In 2014, they founded Kenzen to develop wearables to measure physiological signals — heart rate, body temperature, motion, and sweat.