Turning startup innovation and passion into business success

By | 3 minute read | March 15, 2018

Taking a good idea and transforming it into a thriving business is not swift or easy. Roughly 90 percent of startups fail.

In 2015, I established Cognition Foundry with the aim of helping talented, skilled people with innovative ideas better navigate this transformation. We primarily work with startups and independent software vendors (ISVs) moving their applications onto enterprise-class computing, with enterprise scale.

As an entry point, Cognition Foundry provides startups and ISVs with access to the IBM LinuxONE enterprise server platform together with their extensive network—this includes potential partners and collaborative opportunities. We also have architectural and design skills, experienced development capability and can provide access to experienced marketing agents to help bring products to market more quickly.

In some ways, Cognition Foundry is like a technology angel investor. Instead of providing money to startups to help them grow their businesses, we provide technology, skills, mentorship and broad networking to help them succeed.

Empowering startups and ISVs to share their vision

Cognition Foundry works with startups and ISVs to help them overcome two of their biggest challenges: promoting and selling their ideas, and having access to a scalable and secure technology platform.

Through my 31 years of experience working at IBM, I have learned that you can have great ideas, but unless you have the right channel to funnel these ideas, they won’t be achieved. After years of having sound ideas overlooked as a technical architect and designer, I found that executives took notice once I became a seasoned salesman and could present them more compellingly and strategically.

I see the same trend with startups. They have good ideas but sometimes don’t know how to sell them, or how to network with others to gain the traction they need. Cognition Foundry provides the mentorship, collaborative opportunities and connections to help change this.

Providing solid technology and expertise

Entrepreneurs seek to win market share by building innovative applications. Ideally, they should begin to build those applications using trusted technology capable of scaling to their target market. Limited budgets, however, can often lead startups to choose platforms that focus on short-term cost instead of supporting the optimal medium to long-term requirements.

By offering low-cost access to the LinuxONE enterprise server and its associated storage technologies, we help startups and ISVs avoid those difficult choices. In effect, we democratize IT for small users by allowing them to start their journey on the same IT infrastructure that large enterprises use to run their core backend systems.

LinuxONE offers simplicity of design. As a platform it’s easy to use, extremely resilient, very cost effective and supports business expansion through massive vertical scalability. It will grow and provide key functionality through a company’s entire journey.

Using LinuxONE to offer massive scale and military grade security to my clients can lead to a significant reduction in the time developing an application. By exploiting the underlying technology of the machine to provide key functionality—such as scaling, systems management and security—they can get their applications to market more quickly and have lower development costs. This can also lead to much lower ongoing maintenance costs.

Bringing ideas to fruition

Our experience with Plastic Bank is a great example. Shaun Frankson and David Katz co-founded Plastic Bank with the goal of alleviating poverty and reducing ocean plastic.

We worked with them to pursue this dream. We helped create a secure, reliable system that enables the exchange of plastic for money, items or services. This empowers recycling ecosystems, diminishes the flow of plastic into our oceans, and enables people living in poverty to build better futures.

Helping build something that can make such a difference in the world was a magical experience; one that I hope to continue to replicate.

Like Plastic Bank, I want all of our clients to dream big, follow their passion and experience success. Cognition Foundry is here to help make that happen.


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