Cogo Labs is the technology-driven startup incubator behind some of the Boston area's fastest-growing web companies.
We connected Navid Sharifi, Senior Manager, Analytics, of Cogo Labs' team to get an inside look at the company's day-to-day operations.
Interested in working here? Check out all of the job openings at Cogo Labs!
Quick Hit Company Details
- Year Founded: 2005
- Number of employees: 110
- Industry: Internet Tech
Can you share the details on what Cogo Labs does?
We launch internet companies! At Cogo we’re a unique incubator that uses data and technology to identify market opportunities from consumer trends and then run lean experiments until we grow them to profitability. Contrary to typical incubators, our entire operation is internal: we identify, build, and launch our startups all in-house. We’re a group of entrepreneurial analysts, engineers, and designers working with petabytes of data and letting the numbers guide our way.
Who are some of your customers?
Since everything we do is internal, our incubating companies are our customers. We support them with our core teams and technology and help them reach profitability to launch out into the real world. We’ve had some great success stories - spanning companies like CourseAdvisor, Autotegrity, Jobcase, EverQuote, CareDash, and HopJump - with more on tap: we strive to support 30 concurrent companies in our incubator.
What are your company’s core values or how would you best describe the culture and working environment at Cogo Labs?
Our culture is ambitious, supportive, and bold. We solve problems faster by sharing our insights with each other. Our team is talented and driven; always taking opportunities to both teach and learn as we push each other to ask, “What’s next?” We celebrate each other's successes and recognize those who go above and beyond - our CogoStars. We embody our values to help build a positive, innovative, and team-oriented environment every day.
Is there anything that you’d like to share in terms of promoting diversity across your company and hiring practices?
Diversity is a huge priority for our company. In a industry that isn’t necessarily known for its diversity or inclusion, we feel the responsibility to be leaders in the tech space, ensuring our culture and hiring practices reflect our values and beliefs. The urgency has only increased in recognition of and solidarity with the current efforts across the country to combat racial and human rights inequalities and violations.
We have lots of work to do to embody our beliefs, but we’re on the path! We have an incredible Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Council that holds frequent outings, talks, and networking events to foster a culture of empowerment and an environment where employees can come together to connect about work, tech, and anything else that interests them. They’re also critical in creating and maintaining organizational change and establishing a group with a dedicated focus on inclusion practices and implementation.
From a big picture point of view, what experience or traits do you typically look for when interviewing and hiring new employees into Cogo Labs?
To put it bluntly, we look for badass generalists! By trade we’re analysts, engineers, account managers, and designers, but regardless of your specific role you’ll be expected to be directly involved with business decisions. We want collaborative and analytical problem solvers. We need results-oriented and transparent entrepreneurs. We’re all about taking big swings and having an outsized impact in everything we do, so we want people that’ll dive right in and take on those challenges from day one.
What’s the best way to get a job at Cogo Labs?
Reach out to our Talent Team and keep your eye on our careers page, but I’ll save you the hassle: we’re always hiring! We’re ambitious in our goals and can’t have enough talent to get us there.
What can someone expect during the interview process?
At Cogo labs we strive to always be presenting a phenomenal candidate experience. We have worked hard with our hiring teams to identify the specific competencies that are needed to be successful in each of the roles we recruit for. We craft our interviews by asking specific behavioral questions that speak to past experiences. Each interviewer focuses on a different aspect to the role to ensure that candidates are not answering the same questions over and over. By employing this style we can truly appreciate a candidate's capabilities and style
What can people expect over the course of their career at Cogo Labs?
Whether you are passionate about building a new business or supporting many startups on our core Cogo teams, there is nothing but opportunity at Cogo. You’ll receive all the tools and resources you need to help you along your journey, including mentorship, robust learning and development programs, and access to senior leaders and executives. And you’ll be shoulder-to-shoulder with other bright and driven people just like yourself, collaborating in a hard-working yet always fun environment.
What types of activities are employees involved in at or outside the office?
Employees at Cogo are both entrepreneurial thinkers, as well as explorers. We have a yearly ski trip, an outing club group, a frequent tenacity to try new things, and lots of regular programming from our Women and LGBTQ+ employee resource groups.
Share one or more random fun facts
We have a planking slack channel that people can join in everyday. Yes, you heard that correctly, each day the length of the group plank extends by 10 seconds until they reset back to a 30 second plank. This once in-person routine, now happens on Zoom for anyone at Cogo to join.
Rapid Fire Questions
What’s on tap?
Nitro cold brew!
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Well, we have one meeting room called The Bridge and another called Mos Eisley Cantina so you know we’re fans of both...but personally I’d boldly go where no man (person) has gone before.
iPhone or Android?
Android. I’m a non-conformist.
Favorite employee perk?
Fully stocked kitchen (so. much. cheese.) and catered lunch Fridays.
Coffee - hot or iced?
Always iced...I’m a New Englander.
Wake up before the alarm or hit the snooze button?
Without an alarm I’d be asleep til noon.
What super hero could you see working at Cogo Labs?
Spiderman/Spider-Gwen: we’re young, smart, and resourceful.
Claire Jiang, Account Manager
"I love working at Cogo because I believe that every individual’s role here significantly contributes to the growth and happiness of the company. I’ve always felt that my input is valued here, but also that I’m encouraged to use my voice and to make a difference in the growth of the business – whether that’s developing new partnerships or improving and owning new processes. People here are supportive, intelligent and kind. And fun. I’ve also never not enjoyed grabbing a drink (or two) with a fellow Cogonaut!"
Shivakar Vulli, Lead Software Engineer
"The people at Cogo is what makes it a great place to work. I have never seen this density of intelligent, motivated and collaborative people before. I wake up every day, excited to get to work on challenging problems with a team that values creative solutions which push the limits of technology. I feel really grateful for all the great opportunities to explore new projects while having a real impact on the day-to-day operations at Cogo."
Angel Jehng, Analyst
"What initially drew me to Cogo was the opportunity for ownership and the impact I would have in a tech startup environment. Cogo strives to be the best place for early-career entrepreneurs, and that vision really resonated with me. I have been able to grow as an owner of my project through individual contributor work that has direct impact on the business. I have also been able to grow as a leader with guidance from mentors across the incubator. I have enjoyed being a part of the Cogo family and learning how to create successful web companies through data-driven decisions. Cogo has allowed me to tackle challenging projects that have provided incredible learning experiences. I do not think I would have been able to have this kind of opportunity to learn and grow outside of Cogo."