Twelve startups campaigned for their chance to win the prize at 1st and Future, the startup pitch hosted jointly by the NFL, Stanford and TechCrunch, but only one could take home the prize in each category. Kenzen, the startup billing itself as a “personal health lab,” was among the chosen few today, winning in the category of Future Athlete.
Kenzen competed against some formidable opponents, including machine learning platform Telemetry Sports, 3D VR training and playbook determination technology DimeTime(by Radd3), and Heddoko, a smart compression suit that tracks full body movement in 3D.
Kenzen delivers real-time health insights using patented biosensors, sweat analysis and predictive analytics with the aim of preempting dehydration, cramping, and injuries.
The startup offers an “echo smart patch,” which is a wearable biosensor that measures vital signs, fluids and nutrients, motion and environment.
Kenzen’s app accompanies the patch and shows hydration and ion levels to the user. It will also send alerts to players whenever they fall into a critical zone such as low hydration levels while on the field, which can help avoid injury and aid recovery.
Kenzen’s team has a background in wearable technology and biotech and has mostly floated itself on research grants for the past two years. It has also so far filed for 11 patents for its proprietary technology and is partnering with the 49ers and FC Dallas.
One of the judges, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, raised a concern about properly hydrated high school students and suggested the technology could be applied to a wider audience. Kenzen affirmed the initial go-to-market strategy would focus on the pro and elite athletes, but could trickle down to other athletes and the consumer market, as well as seniors and children, according to the startup.
The plan is to expand beyond the patch to different form factors.
Watch the video above to see the onstage presentation.