Cindy del Rosario-Tapan
Executive Director of Communications and Media Relations
Columbia undergraduates Katherine Jin CC’16, Kevin Tyan CC’16 and Jason Kang SEAS’16, founders of the company Kinnos, have been named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” Healthcare list. Jin, Tyan and Kang are the inventors of Highlight, a powdered additive for bleach solutions that improves the effectiveness of bleach mist decontamination and ensures the safety of healthcare workers.
Highlight was first developed when the trio entered — and won — the “Columbia Design Challenge: Confronting the Ebola Crisis” in Fall 2014; shortly thereafter they formed Kinnos and Highlight was adopted by the FDNY. In Spring 2015, Jin, Tyan and Kang were chosen as a winner of USAID’s competition, Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development, one of 15 teams selected from more than 1,500 applicants. They placed third in both the Columbia Venture Competition’s Undergraduate Challenge and the Collegiate Inventors 2015 Undergraduate Competition and were finalists in the Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize Competition.
While bleach is the most commonly used disinfectant for surfaces contaminated with the Ebola virus, it is transparent and forms droplets when sprayed on waterproof surfaces like personal protective equipment suits. Highlight colorizes a standard bleach solution and modifies the solution’s liquid properties to provide visualization of sprayed regions, improve coverage and adherence to all surfaces, and increase antiviral potency. It can be added directly to bleach solutions currently used in the field and is compatible with standard- issue contractor sprayers.
Forbes “30 Under 30” has also recognized the following Columbia College alumni:
- Amanda Gutterman CC’13, Forbes “30 Under 30” Media
- Shana Knizhnik CC’10, Forbes “30 Under 30” Media
- Christopher Lorn CC’10, Forbes “30 Under 30” Marketing & Advertising
- Heben Nigatu CC’14, Forbes “30 Under 30” Media
- Jerelyn Rodriguez CC’11, Forbes “30 Under 30” Education
- Michael Tannenbaum CC’10, Forbes “30 Under 30” Finance