Cogito: ‘Like Wikipedia for Universities’
Cogito aims to help university students by creating a social e-learning platform. The Budapest Business Journal asks CEO Máté Majtán about the project.
Cogito’s team at the Pitch@Palace Hungary event.
“My friend and co-founder Bence and I are both studying medicine at Semmelweis University. The immense amount of lexical knowledge, huge stress and the lack of reliable materials for studying left us no choice but to find and realize a solution as fast as possible, since it was crucial for our – and our peers’ – professional progress,” he says of the inspiration behind the startup.
“We found that the currently used e-learning platforms were developed many years ago and, overall, had a one-way approach for teaching. Changing this was, and still, is our main goal.”
Majtán explains that Cogito’s idea revolves around using social platforms not only in everyday communication, but in both teaching and studying as well.
“Cogito offers a collaborative interface for students to create up-to-date, reliable notes together, that can be validated by their teachers afterwards. In this way, the students and teachers can work to a common goal in an interactive environment. It’s like a Wikipedia for universities. Besides this, we offer a news feed for the professional insights of teachers and institutes. Thus professors can gain more attention and engagement online,” the CEO adds.
The startup now consists of six “motivated, hard-working” young people. Five are university students, though some of them are nearing the end of their academic studies, and one person who has already graduated: software engineer Máté Papp.
“The team is one of our biggest assets, we think. Bence Stubnya is responsible for sales and marketing; development is overseen by Kristóf Kovács-Egri, our product manager, and the actual development is done by Berci Körmendy and Máté Papp, with the screens and UX/UI prepared by Ádám Lobler, our designer,” Majtán says.
The team’s first big breakthrough came in February, when the startup got into the Start it @K&H Incubator. “Getting the help of our mentor and having the office there gave us a huge boost in our progress,” Majtán added. Cogito also got into Design Terminal’s Accelerator in September, and into Pitch@Palace Hungary event, organized by the Duke of York startup network. Cogito won third place at the event itself, and the People’s Choice Award, voted by the public online, which Majtán considers the biggest achievement so far.
“Thanks to that third place, we have been invited to the London Global Final of the Pitch@Palace event, which will take place between December 9-12, where we have the opportunity to pitch our idea to people from the royal family and influential British business people, and maybe even Her Majesty the Queen,” he noted.
The CEO expects the working MVP (minimum viable product) to be ready for testing on December 17, and in January, Cognito will start institutional testing at Semmelweis University, which Majtán says is their first paying customer.
“We are ahead of an exciting year; we’ll continue distribution in Hungary with universities who are already on our subscription list, but we also aspire to start testing in neighboring countries and Great Britain as well. Next year we will also focus on getting the first corporate partnerships. In the long run, we believe Cogito can become an effective tool for education, creating an online environment without frustration, where people can collaboratively help each other reach their common goals,” the CEO concludes.
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