Local startup that predicts potential injuries opening downtown headquarters

Kinesics, a homegrown biotech startup that spun off of the wellness company FITT, is preparing to open its corporate headquarters in downtown Baton Rouge at 440 on Third in the coming months.

The company licenses a software program that analyzes the physical mobility of athletes, workers and other users and gives predictive analytics into their health. In other words, the program is designed to determine whether someone could get injured before it happens, among other uses, essentially serving as a risk management product.

CEO Gerald Drefahl says Kinesics has already licensed its services, which includes educational programs, to several organizations, and counts Turner Industries and Baton Rouge General as some of its users. The firm has struck deals with several partners in other states, he adds, including in Texas, where ExxonMobil is a user.

Innovation Catalyst, the nonprofit venture development group, helped Kinesics land $1 million in seed funding, and Drefahl says the firm will seek $4 million in Series A capital in the coming months.

The developers of 440 on Third—Weinstein Nelson Development—are building a production studio and office space for Kinesics on the second floor of the mixed-use complex, above Matherne’s Supermarket. The studio will allow the company to produce educational videos to go along with its software.

The nascent firm is currently working partly out of an incubator and at the offices of FITT, from which Kinesics spun off and now counts as a client. Drefahl, who still serves as CEO of FITT as well, says he’ll move the 14 Kinesics employees to the downtown space in March. He plans to staff up to 30 at the location.

“For the type of people we recruit, I wanted us to be able to attract LSU talent,” Drefahl says. “The best way I saw to do that with most of these millennials was be downtown and experience the growth downtown.”

Local technology firm Sparkhound is building the app for Kinesics, which Drefahl says will launch in early February. Eventually, Kinesics aims to become essentially a data brokerage, then an insurance company, through the data it collects.

—Sam Karlin

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