Kinnect’s new app aims to help families record and store generational memories

A new startup called Kinnect aims to help people privately save generational memories, traditions, recipes, and more. The company’s app, launched this month, lets people create invite-only spaces where they can share images, videos, audio, text, and more with their entire family.

Kinnect was founded in May 2023 by Omar Alvarez, an entrepreneur who has experience working with telehealth brands focused on mental health. Alvarez came up with the idea for Kinnect after he lost his grandfather to Alzheimer’s and his best friend to Leukemia. 

At the start of his grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer’s, Alvarez and his family were coming to terms with the fact that his grandfather was going to lose his memories. They tried to find a place where they could record and store his memories, but his grandfather passed away before they were able to find a way to do so. 

Four years later, Alvarez’s best friend was diagnosed with Leukemia. He asked Alvarez if he knew of a way for him to privately record and store messages for his wife so that she could listen to them after he passed. 

Alvarez’s best friend passed away last November, six months before the launch of Kinnect. While Alvarez wishes he was able to launch Kinnect in time for his best friend to easily record messages and stories for his wife, Alvarez says his best friend’s ideas and experiences are very much a part of Kinnect.

Image Credits: Kinnect

Alvarez decided to name the app Kinnect because he believes it’s the most inclusive term for family and one that embraces both chosen and blood relatives alike. He wants Kinnect to be a platform for everyone to store generational memories, not just blood family. 

“I’m Latino, and I’m also gay, so when I think about family, friends that feel like family are included in that equation,” Alvarez told TechCrunch. “The ‘Kin’ in ‘Kinnect’ represents the most inclusive term for family. And the ‘net’ is for the need to connect. The need to feel like you belong. I hope that Kinnect does reduce a sense of isolation or the sense of feeling like you don’t belong.”

Once you get started with the app, you will be asked about your goals. For instance, you can say that you want to “capture life lessons,” “preserve family history,” “remember loved ones” or “share moments.” You can select all of the options that apply to your goals with Kinnect.                                                                                                                                                                          

Kinnect features a home feed that is similar to the ones that you see on Facebook or Instagram, as it displays updates from people in your invite-only space, such as new comments or uploads. 

The app also features a “Storybooks” feature that lets users organize memories into digital albums based on different topics. You can store chapters in your family’s ongoing story that current or future generations can revisit years down the road. 

If a family member is unsure about what to add to their family’s Storybook, they can use the app’s “Guided Storytelling” feature to receive prompts that they can answer. For instance, the app may ask you to talk about your current home and what made you move there. Alvarez says that while many people want to capture their stories, they may be unsure about where to start, which is why the startup added the Guided Storytelling feature. Kinnect plans to use AI in the future to personalize these prompts to each family member in a group. 

Image Credits: Kinnect

The app is targeted toward people of all ages, from teens to grandparents. Alvarez says it was important for him to release an easy-to-use platform that could be used by elders. 

Kinnect is currently only available on iOS, but the startup plans to launch an Android app in the coming months. 

While Kinnect’s basic features are free to use, users can sign up for an annual subscription to get access to unlock unlimited Storybooks and unlimited photos, videos, and audio uploads per Story. The subscription costs $70 per year and can be used by up to five family members. 

As for the future, Alvarez teased that Kinnect wants to go beyond the digital world and focus on in-person connections. 

“We don’t want to be another tech company that only focuses on digital solutions,” Alvarez said. “I’m very aware of the mental health benefits of having in-person connections and feelings of belonging. We are going to be thinking about how we show up in the real world as well.”

The startup has received $100,000 in funding through TechStar’s Rising Stars program, which aims to help fund underrepresented founders in the U.S. Kinnect is also currently in an accelerator program from Slauson & Co.


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