ACE Startup Feature – Kinexcs
Look Before You Leap
Abhishek Agrawal, co-founder of medical device startup Kinexcs, shares his entrepreneurship journey and the many lessons he’s learnt in three short years.
The co-founders of Kinexcs were on a roll. In a six-month period straddling 2014 and 2015, they participated in seven hackathons and won five of them. When they found themselves almost $25,000 richer for it, they decided to use the money to fund their own startup. With that, Kinexcs was born in May 2015.
“Our focus was always on wearable technology but we didn’t have a specific area of application in mind at first,” admits co-founder Abhishek Agrawal. “While participating in the hackathons, we met mentors from NTUitive. They pointed us towards medical technology and we made a snap decision to go with it.”
Fast forward two years, Abhishek has learnt a valuable lesson, one that he would like to share with fellow entrepreneurs: “It’s important to really understand the space before you go into it. I speak from experience because we didn’t. We went in without realising the maturity level and diversity of skills needed to succeed in the med-tech world, and how long-drawn the development process would be.”
Each stage, from ideation to fundraising to product development and validation, has taken Kinexcs about a year to complete. It has been a long and bumpy road and moments of self-doubt were inevitable.
“There are times when I ask myself why I’m devoting all my time and energy into this; to have come so far without seeing a single cent in revenue. In the digital space, I could have built three start-ups in the same amount of time!” shared Abhishek. “But then I remind myself that we’re in this not just for the money. What we’re building will make a difference to people.”
Kinexcs is now developing a market-ready, upgraded version of its original Compliance Monitor, which adds monitoring capabilities to traditional foot and ankle braces to enable doctors to gain better insight into a patient’s recovery pattern. Called Rehab Monitoring Kit, the device uses analytics technology for joint-angle measurement and rehabilitation analysis and will allow doctors to remotely monitor rehab progress and compliance in patients who have undergone knee procedures, such as knee replacement and anterior cruciate ligament surgery.
To support its six-man team, Kinexcs also taps on the expertise of a network of advisors. Abhishek explains: “With my background in electronics engineering, I focus on the technology part of the business. My fellow co-founder is a very experienced business leader, so he handles the external-facing tasks like business development. While this arrangement works really well and gives us our own space, we cannot profess to have all the domain expertise when it comes to med-tech, and that’s where our advisors have been invaluable.”
“Looking back, I think there were things that we could have done faster if we weren’t slowed down by a steep learning curve. Time is a startup’s greatest asset but perseverance is an entrepreneur’s defining quality. Why do some startups succeed while others fail? I think the difference is in execution. If we push through the tough times and never lose focus, success will be ours,” said Abhishek.
This can-do attitude has propelled Kinexcs forward, and with fresh funding from ACCESS Health International and NUS Enterprise, the team expects to launch Rehab Monitoring Kit — and start bringing in revenue — in the months to come.
To learn more about Kinexcs and how they are applying wearable technology to healthcare rehabilitation, visit www.kinexcs.com.
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