Erika Brodnock describes herself as an outside-the-box thinker. That’s no surprise: Her father is a founder, and now she herself is an academic DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) researcher. Early, Brodnock had the drive and understanding that change is created — and data can help her drive it.
Last year, she took her passions to bat and co-founded the London-based Kinhub, a B2B SaaS platform powered by AI to democratize access to coaching and wellness support for employees. She founded the company alongside Helen Yannakoudakis and Jacob Herandi to help employers navigate the needs of their workforce. Kinhub helps employees find resources for circumstances such as elder care, pregnancy, managing the cost of living, and even navigating corporate environments as a minority.
The Kinhub onboarding process asks users about their personal lives — like if they have children or are experiencing menopause. From there, the algorithm collects data to then suggest resources to help that user with their wants and needs. It works with consultants who offer one-on-one support, group sessions, and coaching programs. Much attention was paid to the consultants on the platform, Brodnock said — there are those from all sexual orientations, neurodivergence, and ethnic backgrounds. The attention to diversity was so every employee could find someone they identified with; in other words, no one was left behind.
“If we put the network around people to enable them to get the support they need to go through various life circumstances, we will enable them to be their best selves at work,” she said. “If you as an organization want to encourage more people back into the office, we can send one of our consultants to do sessions on a particular day if it’s more convenient for people to access it at 3 a.m. when they have a crying baby who’s teething, then we’re there as well.”
The Kinhub team has filed patent applications around the technology they use to build generative agents that understand human emotions and urgency, Brodnock said. Though Kinhub is primarily sold to employers, for every three people who are paid for by a company, Brodnock says Kinhub offers its service free of charge to low-income families. This was done as a way to contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is equality for all.
Though the product right now is sold only in the U.K., Brodnock is keen to break into the U.S. market. For that reason, she is flying across the pond to join us for the Disrupt Battlefield 200, where her company will compete for the grand prize. Kinhub is in the process of raising a $2.5 million seed, with already a few U.S. investors in the mix. “We think we’ll be incredibly well received in the U.S., where the market is slightly more tolerant of racial innovation and, we hope, more open to backing the future of workplace well-being,” she said.
Wellness in the workplace became a mainstay topic during the pandemic, which revealed and exacerbated a global mental crisis. The result is that more employers are looking to find ways to further support the well-being of employees. In the U.S., a topic such as this is equally as pressing, given the fact that healthcare is very expensive, unlike the U.K., where public healthcare is free. Many people do not know of and cannot afford the coaching and mental resources that would greatly assist them. And that’s another reason why Kinhub is here. “People really do need our service and support,” Brodnock said.