Kinnecta’s new app aims to help families capture and store generational memories

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

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

At the beginning of his grandfather’s battle with Alzheimer’s, Alvarez and his family came to terms with the fact that his grandfather would lose his memory. They tried to find a place where they could record and store his memories, but his grandfather passed away before they could find a way to do so.

Four years later, Alvarez’s best friend was diagnosed with leukemia. He asked Alvarez if he knew how he could privately record and store messages for his wife so she could listen to them after his death.

Alvarez’s best friend passed away last November, six months before Kinnect launched. While Alvarez wishes he had been 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 call the app Kinnect because he believes it’s the most comprehensive term for family and one that encompasses chosen and blood relatives alike. He wants Kinnect to be a platform for storing generational memories for everyone, not just blood family.

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“I’m Latino, and I’m also gay, so when I think about family, friends who feel like family are included in that equation,” Alvarez told TechCrunch. «‘Kin’ in ‘Kinnect’ is the most comprehensive term for family. And ‘network’ is for the need to connect. The need to feel like you belong. I hope that Kinnect reduces feelings of isolation or not belonging.”

Once you start the app, you’ll be asked about your goals. For example, you can say you want to «capture life lessons,» «preserve family history,» «remember loved ones,» or «share moments.» You can choose all the options that relate to your goals with Kinnect.

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

The app also has a «Storybooks» feature that allows users to organize memories into digital albums based on different themes. You can store chapters in your family’s ongoing story that current or future generations can revisit years later.

If a family member isn’t sure what to add to their family storybook, they can use the app’s Guided Storytelling feature to receive prompts to answer. For example, the app may ask you to talk about your current home and what made you want to move there. Alvarez says that while many people want to record their stories, they may not be sure 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 the group.

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Image credits: Kinnect

The application is intended for people of all ages, from teenagers to grandparents. Alvarez says it was important to him to release an easy-to-use platform that seniors could use.

Only Kinnect is currently available on iOSbut the startup plans to launch an Android app in the coming months.

While Kinnect’s core features are free to use, users can sign up for an annual subscription to gain access to unlock an unlimited number of storybooks and unlimited photo, video 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 move beyond the digital world and focus on personal connections.

«We don’t want to be another technology company that only focuses on digital solutions,» Alvarez said. “I am very aware of the benefits of personal connections and a sense of belonging in mental health. We will also think about how we appear in the real world.»

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

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