Kansas City-worn Kenzen is rolling into 2021 with new funding and partnerships pushing the wearables startup into overdrive.
The company announced a $1 million injection of funding from Overland Park-based Examinetics — a portfolio company of New York-based Freedom 3 Capital — Wednesday.
“The Kenzen solution is gaining momentum. This alliance with Examinetics will broaden the team of safety experts who can work closely with clients to train teams and onboard employees to the technology before work heats up this summer,” explained Heidi Lehmann, co-founder and chief commercial officer of the smart personal protective equipment and Internet of Things company.
The injection brings Kenzen’s total backing to $10 million.
The company currently sits at No. 16 on the Kansas City Top VC-Backed Companies list — generated annually by Startland News’ independently-operated parent organization, Startland.
Beyond capital, Kenzen and Examinetics have agreed to a partnership in which the former will work to create introductions and partnerships for the startup, leveraging its network of existing clients, added Paul Fenaroli, Examinetics president and CEO.
“As a leader in the field, we have a responsibility to bring our clients new and emerging solutions that we believe advance their employee health and safety goals,” Fenaroli said. “With over 3,000 clients nationwide, we have the reach and access to health and safety executives in substantially every industrial sector.”
Kenzen headquartered much of its operations base in the metro upon its founding in 2016, setting its sights in part on accessible capital, Lehmann previously told Startland News.
Additionally Wednesday, Kenzen and North Kansas City-built Garney Construction announced a trial, which will put the company’s wearables to the test on 10 build sites nationwide.
The devices track and assess physiological indicators of each worker, including core body temperature, heart rate, and exertion level — potentially saving the lives of workers exposed to extreme weather, acting as a proactive prediction and prevention measure.
“We’re committed to continually evaluating new methods of protecting our employee-owners and incorporating the best solutions available,” said Ryan Smith, regional safety manager at Garney. “We’re looking to add more prevention approaches to our systems, which now include education and training, hydration, monitoring atmospheric and ambient heat, and cooling stations.”
While Kenzen works to collect sizable amounts of data, privacy and protection remain a driver for the company, Lehmann added.
“Garney is on the leading edge of bringing technology into the safety equation. Because Garney is owned by its employees, all were involved in the decision and all are interested in advancing their business through increased safety and productivity.”
Click here to read more about Kenzen and Lehmann’s journey to Kansas City.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.