Cognician provides scalable, chat-based learning solutions designed to
develop people’s expertise. Cognician is a platform and an app that gets you
thinking by leading you with expert questions. Questions are packaged in applets
called cogs. You can get free and pro cogs from Cognician.com or the company
can develop cogs to suit your needs.
Specialising in people development software,
Cognician offers an interactive solution to medium and large companies that
seek an effective, scalable method for
coaching employees. Cognician’s clients and partners choose to work with them
because the experience of using the software is the closest thing you’ll find
online to the experience of having a personal chat with a coach or mentor.
Cognician's proprietary cloud-based software helps users at
these firms explore a topic through a
question-and-answer process. Cognician works with its clients and partners to
adapt their intellectual property into a chat-based medium,
providing an interactive platform and customised
Natives of Cape Town, brothers Barry and Patrick Kayton each received a
degree in literature from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 1992 and 1999
respectively. Barry went on to receive a postgraduate diploma in advertising,
marketing, and copywriting in 1993 while Patrick gained experience in teaching
In 2000, they decided to pursue a shared interest in education and
entrepreneurship by founding Bright Sparks, a company that designed and
produced educational games for schools and NGOs. Despite producing successful
products, which have been used by more than 18 000 educators and 485 000
students, Bright Sparks’ one-time
revenue model hindered its ability to scale.
The idea behind Cognician manifested in 2006 after a day-long seminar on
creative thinking, conducted by Barry at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate
School of Business. One student exclaimed that he had learned more through
Barry's question-and-answer method than through a five-day workshop on the same
topic and this set the brothers thinking. It was, however, only in 2008 that
Barry and Patrick were able to fully pursue the project, which led to the
hiring of Robert Stuttaford, the Chief Technical Officer who developed the
product until it was ready for sales in July 2010.
In addition to working with direct clients, Cognician works with
partners, including professional development consultancies, to develop and sell
bundles of cogs to multiple clients through a revenue share model.
Since its founding, Cognician’s chat-based method has helped to develop
people at some of the top firms across southern Africa, including Dimension
Data, Allan Gray and Telkom.
and Patrick have proven that they can strategically navigate an evolving business
landscape. In 2010, the company was named one of the top 11 new start-ups at
the TechCrunch Europa Awards. Access to mentors with expertise in growth
strategies and international expansion is crucial as Cognician negotiates
global partnerships and seeks to reach the next level of growth. With
Endeavor's support, Cognician could multiply its impact on organisations and
their most valued asset: their people.