About Kelzal

Our Purpose

Kelzal has developed a Perception ApplianceTM that enable high performance cognition, object and activity recognition, at ultra-low power. This approach processes input more quickly, and works in more light conditions than any existing technology.

Kelzal delivers an Image Free Sensing™ system combined with brain-inspired artificial intelligence for rapid response and robust performance. Kelzal’s “intelligent eyes” detect, track and perceive objects. The onboard AI system performs in diverse light conditions, without adding unnecessary power or weight.

This capability is ideal for use in low power monitoring, surveillance, autonomous vehicles and mobile robots.


The Kelzal Team comprises the critical and necessary combination of business experience with deep roots in the community and visionary technology expertise uniquely qualified to bring the state-of-the art Perception Appliance™ (object and action recognition) to the transportation and surveillance market.


Dr. Olivier Coenen, CTO, Interim CEO, Founder

Dr. Coenen brings brain-inspired engineering ideas developed from his work at the Salk Institute, Sony, and the Brain Corporation. At Brain, he designed “an artificial nervous system for UAV’s” as part of a DARPA project. Olivier’s work has been the basis for funding in his previous positions and he has participated in the development of numerous patents. His interests and experience includes deep learning, machine learning, signal processing and robotic control. Olivier has a PhD in Physics/Biophysics from University of California, San Diego.



James Disanto, Non-Executive Chairman of the Board

Jim DiSanto is a 20 year silicon valley technology executive and veteran entrepreneur. Jim has extensive experience in enterprise software, mobile applications, navigation and location based services, and automotive applications. During the past decade, Jim co- founded and lead KonaWare, a pioneer in mobile applications for transportation and logistics operators, which he sold to Yamei Electronics of Beijing, China in 2008. Jim joined Yamei as a board director and General Manager and formed strategic partnerships with automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers operating in China. Yamei was purchased by Trimble Navigation in 2011 yielding a 4X return on invested capital over two years. Prior to this, Jim co-founded Simplexity Wireless, one of the leading web MNVO with revenue in excess of $400M annually, and Vicinity (VCNT), one of the first web location based services, which went public in 2000, and was purchased by Microsoft (for MapPoint) in 2002.
Prior and during his tenure at Motus, Jim has formed extensive executive and technical level relationships with automotive OEMs, Tier One suppliers, transportation and logistics firms, global industrial corporations, fleet management services providers, telecommunications operators and suppliers, university and government research organizations, industry analysts, and more.

Jim has served as an Advisor and consultant to early stage companies focused on transportation technologies, problems and solutions. Past advisory and consultancy clients include Waze, a global leader in crowd sourced maps, navigation, and real-time traffic which was purchased by Google in 2014; Auto-Talks, a fabless semiconductor company developing V2V and V2I chipsets, and Mi-Shor, a company supplying software to enable 3D, volumetric, full theater heads up displays on next generation OLED HUD system. Jim advises and currently serves on the Boards of Doorman.co, Quanergy.com (observer), Metawave and Civil Maps.

Company Development

Founded in 2014, Qelzal Corporation (doing business as Kelzal) was formed to leverage expertise in natural vision systems, deep learning, and machine vision. 

A fast obstacle avoidance system was developed in part under a DARPA SBIR grant.

An airborne High Performance Sense and Avoid system was developed in part as an NSF SBIR project.

Qelzal is an EvoNexus Portfolio Company. EvoNexus is Southern California’s leading tech startup incubator.

Qelzal is a finalist in San Diego Venture Group’s Cool Companies 2017


Qelzal has benefited from participating in the LightSpeed Innovations accelerator, a leading aerospace accelerator focused on disruptive and differentiated businesses with patentable and protected ideas.

Qelzal is a member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce