Meet the Kenzen Management Team
We are scientists, engineers and artists with first-hand experience managing our own health conditions.
CEO & President
Mr. McDonnell created and built Cisco’s Healthcare Data & Analytics business and Services IoT Platform group. He served as President, Americas of Gartner Cloud Cool Vendor SolveDirect with a successful exit to Cisco. He holds 4 patents in enterprise cloud software and big data systems.
Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Schmid studied Business Administration at the University of St. Gallen, Harvard and King’s College and deepened her understanding at the Advisory practice at PwC. Pursuing a MA in Philosophy at ETH, she was elected President of the ETH Entrepreneur Club.
Co-Founder & Chief Design Officer
Steve has extensive product and UX design experience at LinkedIn and two medical device start-ups with an IPO + acquisition. A Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis at the age of three inspired Steve to pursue a goal of making daily disease management easier for patients.
Dr. Peter Seitz
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Seitz is a former Professor of Optoelectronics at EPFL, co-founder of the ETH Innovation and Entrepreneur-ship Lab and a serial entrepreneur with numerous exits. He holds over 60 patents in photonics, solid state sensors and signal processing.
Chief Product Officer
Formerly with Harman, Skullcandy and Jawbone, and a background in mechanical engineering, Nora has extensive experience with product management of wearable devices, including supply chain and contract manufacturing.
Dr. Stephane Follonier
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Follonier brings core competencies in innovation management with a focus in system integration in biomedical devices acquired in Fortune 500 companies and startups in the US and Switzerland.
About Our Founders
Driven by her brother's sudden diagnosis of a rare cancer, in 2013, Dr. Sonia Sousa was looking for a novel way to predict and prevent avoidable health conditions by using wearable devices and machine learning. "How could someone who was always so healthy and athletic suddenly become ill?," she wondered. With a background in medical devices, life science and analytics, and a PhD in Spectroscopy and Neural Networks, Sonia had held leadership positions at DuPont, Thermo-Fisher and Agilent. Sonia knew that through open innovation and research partners, a revolutionary health monitoring technology could be quickly commercialized, and ultimately disrupt healthcare.
Dr. Sousa was introduced to Steve Pecko, a Type 1 Diabetic, who had worked as a user experience and design lead in medical device companies and numerous Silicon Valley startups. Steve shared some of his day-to-day experience managing low blood sugars, and believed that detectable changes in his physiology leading up to hypoglycemia could be measured without the need for an absolute blood glucose measure. They agreed single-function, wrist-worn fitness trackers weren't reliable or accurate enough to truly be predictive. The two hit-it-off immediately, blending a unique balance of science, business and design thinking.
Sonia's history with Swiss research partners brought Dr. Peter Seitz and Dr. Stephane Follonier to the table, both becoming instrumental in identifying the right biosensing technologies for the Kenzen mission. Sweat analysis was a non-invasive, yet comprehensive medium that could be exploited to detect real-time changes in physiology. After setting up a small research office outside Zürich, Kenzen was awarded multiple non-dilutive Swiss innovation grants, and a data science team soon followed.
In 2018, Sonia suffered an acute health event that ultimately cost her her life. But her mission lives on. Sonia will always be remembered for her passion, dedication and commitment to helping the lives of others. A visionary, a technologist, a hyper-connector: she was all of these things, but most importantly, Sonia was an inspiration to not only the entire Kenzen team, but also to other female founders, entrepreneurs and women in science and technology. You can read more about Dr. Sonia Sousa's legacy here in our blog post »