What is it like to work at your company in terms of your culture?
Sometimes when you read about the culture at a startup you start to wonder if you're actually reading a description of a cult. At Cogo we hire outgoing, entrepreneurial, inquisitive people, and they form the center of our culture. We have interesting problems to solve, and we have fun solving them. There are plenty of opportunities each month to hang out with coworkers either during or outside of work (lunches, bar nights, ski trips, marathon sessions of Blokus or Rumis) but the company's role is to foster the culture the employees advocate for, not to determine in some artificial, top-down way what types of fun will be enforced each month. In that way we think of our culture as something that's continually evolving, not set in stone.
What’s the best way to get a job at Cogo Labs?
Express a genuine interest! We especially like candidates who've clearly looked at our website, or have a story that shows how their past work & interests are aligned with the things we do here.
We're always hiring, but our job listings are often just a general starting point. If you took a poll probably most people here would say their job ended up being different from how it was described on the website. Really we’re looking for entrepreneurial individuals who are interested in the idea of building a technical & analytical process around creating successful start-up companies. If that sounds interesting to you, there's really no better place for you to be, and we can definitely find something interesting for you to work on here.
Also: diversity is crucial to us. Our process at Cogo is very collaborative, and if everyone in the room had the same degree from the same university, we'd be severely limiting our ability to innovate. It’s when you get a really diverse mix of people in a room, with different backgrounds and perspectives, that the interesting ideas really start to flow, and that's part of our competitive advantage here.
What can people expect over the course of their career at Cogo Labs?
We do everything we can here to move people as far in their careers as fast as they want to go. As people grow in their skills here, sometimes they will build and lead teams around core problems at Cogo Labs, and sometimes they will move out with our vertical companies, taking on leadership roles at early-stage startups. It really all depends on what you want to do, and because of the nature of our business--as a small but growing company that is incubating startups that will each have their own unique needs--we have many more tools at our disposal to help people meet their career goals.
What TV or movie would best describe the working environment and employees at Cogo Labs.
Working at Cogo is like the first half of Men In Black, where everything is exciting and alien and weird and cool but also slightly confusing, followed by the second half of Pitch Perfect, where everyone joins their individual talents together in perfect harmony to create something unique and beautiful and complex and amazing.
What is in your fridge or on tap?
Depends on what day you’re poking around in there. On Mondays you’ll find veggies and hummus and yogurt and coconut water. On Fridays you’ll find growlers from CBC and some really incredible mold experiments.
If you took a poll of everyone in the office, what would be the company’s favorite color?
Pantone 7737 CP
Are there any fun facts or unique stories that you can share about Cogo Labs or individuals that work there?
We have musicians and home-brewers and bee-keepers. We have an employee who appeared in a movie with Ryan Reynolds and another who can sew an accurate replication of a 14th century gown from Greenland. We have two employees who've sung at Carnegie Hall and one who mixed a concert there. We have an award-winning fanfiction writer and an award-winning cosplayer. We have an employee who can make you involuntarily move your body by targeting a specific part of your brain with a magnet. We have an employee whose grad school recommendation letter was written by Penn Jillette, and an employee who holds the top search result for "warcraft wedding sushi." We have an employee who saved someone from a car wreck moments before it exploded. We have some of the most incredible and amazing people you will ever meet.
Do you have names for your conference rooms? Is there a theme or explanation behind the names?
Our conference rooms are named after famous rooms from pop culture - The Thunderdome, The Batcave, Fortress of Solitude, etc. At one point we had a room called The Well of Souls but people got too creeped out.
Do you have any unique benefits or perks?
We have every benefit you would expect, plus a company match on our 401k, which is almost unheard of in startup-land. And we are continually looking for ways to do better as a company for and by our employees.