Where Are They Now? Follow Up with Kenai Sports
Innovation Destination Hartford spoke with Kenai Sports Co-Founder Charles Bogoian in March 2016. (Read the interview: Social Entrepreneurs Turning Trash Into Performance Clothing.)
The innovative startup, which was involved in the Central Connecticut State University Institute for Technology & Business Development (CCSU ITBD) incubator, creates sustainable performance sportswear out of recycled trash.
IDH reached out to Charles for an update about the company.
INNOVATION DESTINATION HARTFORD: Have you experienced any major pivots since we featured your story?
CHARLES BOGOIAN: Recently, our company has pivoted to a focus on contract uniform work for various state government purchasing organizations. The larger purchasers in this space provide us with the opportunity to achieve desired scale. We’ve also seen a slight push (that we hope will increase in the near future) for sustainable purchasing in this industry.
IDH How are you building a customer base?
CHARLES: We’re currently in the stage of building a network of referrals based off our initial smaller contract work. Trust must be earned to be awarded some of the larger contracts—it takes time and a great deal of effort to win that trust.
IDH: Where do you see the entrepreneurial landscape heading?
CHARLES: Given the increasingly technological tilt of almost all industries, it will be crucial to utilize these developments to create better products and services for the consumer. Within Connecticut, I see an opportunity to continue the push to become a Social Innovation hub. With our access to nearby resources and the quality human capital within the state, Connecticut can become a center for startups with solutions to social and environmental issues.
IDH: Tell us about the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship in Connecticut.
CHARLES: Entrepreneurship is an engine for job growth and creation and encourages talented workers to remain here in Connecticut for work.
IDH: What’s next?
CHARLES: At Kenai, we hope to translate the first few state contracts we’ve been awarded into large uniform contract work for multiple state purchasing organizations. We strongly believe our value proposition of premium quality, customization, and focus on sustainability should resonate strongly within this market.
Learn more about Kenai Sports