Situated in the heart of Kingston, Ontario’s old industrial area, filled with construction contractors and bakeries, BKIN Technologies Ltd. (BKIN) blends into the surrounding landscape. From the outside, BKIN seems like a typical corporate office space; however, what happens inside the facility is nothing short of extraordinary. Led by president and chief executive officer, Anne Vivian-Scott, BKIN competes in the complex and fascinating world of medical robotics.
Long before BKIN was established, Dr. Stephen Scott developed the firm’s flagship technology—KINARM Labs—at the Centre for Neuroscience Studies at Queen’s University. As the world’s first robotic system for objectively measuring the effects of brain injuries (e.g., strokes, concussions, fetal alcohol syndrome, etc.) while performing ordinary movements, the KINARM technology was widely celebrated; demand for the technology quickly exceeded the lab’s capacity, resulting in a need to commercialize the product.
With an aversion to venture capital, BKIN needed to find another source of funding. In 2009, the company received funding from PARTEQ Innovation’s Venture Fund—an organization dedicated to developing Queen’s innovations and with whom they co-founded the company. In 2013, BKIN moved into a vacant 3,500 square feet facility on Railway Street in Kingston, Ontario. This was a welcome change for Vivian-Scott and her staff because it centralized all BKIN employees under one roof.