Do today’s communication platforms serve prof-students needs well enough?22.3.2019
Bright faces, brave plans and cheeky jokes. That is how Cogito could be summarized in some words. But they are far more than this because they are the real startup with a scalable product that the market is hungry for.
As it might be known the guys participated in Design Terminal’s mentoring program and won. They didn’t just receive the most prominent startup award but also a 6-month office plan in our Budapest HubHub. At the moment we saw them pitching on the stage we were confident about that they are a perfect match for us. And yes, here we are a few weeks later enjoying their fresh energy and totally free entrepreneurial mindset. This time we talked with Mate Majtán, CEO.
Introduce yourself in 6 words.
Here to change the game.
What advice would you give to your younger self who’s standing at the start-line of the journey with only an idea in your pocket?
Put your head down, work, work a lot, and appreciate every single step towards the goals you have.
Can you tell us any life-changing experience that deeply affected the way you think now?
With age, I realised that I have talent and that I’m curious about everything, but that if I don’t start focusing on something, I’ll end up wasting all my talent, without achieving anything at the end.
What did your friends respond to your plan to become a startup/entrepreneur/freelancer etc?
As I said I did start many things before, I even had a YouTube channel at one point, so they were quite used to me not being a proper med student.
We have an all exclusive boy’s club at the University, and at the first meeting, Bence my other Co-Founder told us: “We should do an app”, and it just kinda happened.
What were the most fearful challenges that you had to face in the process of building the company?
Ooh, it is a rollercoaster, one day you think this is the best idea ever created, the next day you are worried whether the market exists at all. For me, though, (the biggest challenge) is managing people. Managing the team, the customers, the decision makers, or the audience if I want to be broad enough. Not being heard, or not being influential to the people around you it is the nightmare of any CEO. Developing a charisma while doing all sorts of things related to the company (fundraising, business development and so on) is extremely hard, and you always feel like you don’t belong anywhere. You understand some of this, some of that, but many times, when it comes to reflecting on things, you’re on your own.
Where would you position your company on the market?
I think that we are a newcomer, from a methodologic perspective. we fall in between institutional and personal teaching (and learning), focusing on higher education mainly in Europe.
Who do you think are your biggest competitors?
The old giant: Moodle. Institutions love it because IT IS FREE! Students hate it because you can see in every way that it is free. Our hypothesis is, however, that the users will be able to overthrow bureaucracy in the long run. We are talking about an average of 10 years. That’s how old these systems are. It’s like you’d still use your iPhone 3, or a flip Motorola. In a normal market, these giants should’ve died a long time ago. Canvas is a bit more fresh, but it still requires a lot of administration. It doesn’t satisfy the needs of the students, I think. Teaching should be more user-focused, you know.
What is important when negotiating with investors?
Being confident, straightforward and honest. Always show respect and willingness to put on the hard work. All the other things are minor, I think. Being good in negotiation is much more about people, than projects or money.
What is the next big step?
Closing a successful fundraising round, and finding the right product/market fit.
Our team of six consists of hard-working young individuals having excellent skills in software development, project management and long term strategic thinking. We are enthusiastic about our product, and since the start, we’ve come a long way for delivering our predictions and Cogito as well. We believe in our idea and in our delivery model too.
The two founders are enrolled at Semmelweis University as medical students but are responsible for business development, sales and marketing. Even though they still need to learn a lot in the business, we can assure everybody, that no student studies as much as fast as medical students od.
Two other team members are studying Software Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics while Kristóf and Máté have already graduated. They already have 2-3-4 years of experience in software development.
Cogito was started in early 2018 by a devoted team of six. Since then, the guys came a long way. The project has been in most of the Hungarian incubators and accelerators (Start it @K&H, Design Terminal, INPUT Program), and also participated at the national and international finals of Pitch@Palace organized by the Duke of York himself. During the last four months, the team of Cogito released it’s MVP and acquired the first paying customer, Semmelweis University, where testing starts soon. For further details about the company, feel free to request the company teaser by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org