I sat down with Senior Analyst, Daniel Delgado Roybal, to talk about his role here at Cogo and what makes us so unique.
What is your role here at Cogo?
"My title is Senior Analyst, but it’s different since I’m part of the mini-verticals. This means that the analysis that I do is towards building a company rather than helping other companies that are already established at Cogo. We’re looking into different markets to understand how big they are and how much opportunity is in each of those markets to figure out what our next company will be."
Can you elaborate on what makes Cogo Labs different from a traditional incubator or accelerator?
"The business model for a traditional incubator is that you have a set period of time to work in the accelerator and you’re put into a cohort of people to develop your idea. Your team then helps you through the process of narrowing down what you’re supposed to do and help you with your 'elevator pitch' to secure more funding. Here, we find the business ideas within the accelerator and we measure which market is the most likely to be successful and profitable and then we start to understand the customers and what they’re looking for. We conduct this analysis before we even build a product for them. We always have the customer and market in mind before launching new companies and we partner with established players in that market to help understand what does and doesn’t work.
Another part of Cogo that's different from being in another accelerator is that you generate your own cash flow to sustain you and your team, but since you’re part of a bigger organization, that means that you’re not as constrained by that cash flow because you have other teams that are also contributing to everyone else's success. In other words, you’re successful because other people are successful with you, which lets you collaborate with other teams in a very natural way."
"...[M]y favorite part of Cogo is working towards building something that I can have more control of and really help shape and be a founder of a new company."
What's your favorite part about Cogo and your role in particular?
"With a range of opportunities after getting my MBA, there were many avenues I could’ve taken. I realized I would be working for someone else's ideas, and my favorite part of Cogo is working towards building something that I can have more control of and really help shape and be a founder of a new company. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and do it in a methodical way. Cogo allows me to have as much structure as I can to be successful and perform tests to see what works and what doesn’t until we find the right formula."
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs interested in Cogo?
"Understanding the unique business model here at Cogo is huge. In the early stages of building a company here, a big part of your day will be working on marketing campaigns and building your target audience, not necessarily working on your ultimate product. By establishing an engaged user base and growing a revenue stream, you develop a deeper understanding of your market and create cashflow to profitably fund a team. It’s an investment of time upfront, but it’s a much more reliable source of income than raising capital somewhere else. Plus, you now have the perfect testing ground for finding product-market fit. One other advantage of being here is having supporting teams ranging from data strategy to business development, engineering and data acquisition to help you along the way."
What's your favorite Cogo perk/ benefit?
"The location is very convenient. Being in Kendall Square just makes a lot of sense for us. We're surrounded by companies that have already made it big and that’s inspiring for a smaller company that’s trying to make it. There are also so many resources available just around the corner, including MIT, larger tech firms, and all of our previously incubated companies in the area."
What do you like to do outside of the office?
"I like to play rugby, train CrossFit, and geek out with my friends playing Magic The Gathering. I’m a big geek and at Cogo I can be myself and share those other interests with coworkers, something I’ve only encountered here and at my time in the Central Bank in Mexico."
What's helped you succeed the most while at Cogo?
"There are people with experience that understand where you’re coming from and can share what has worked for them and what hasn’t. I talk with Matt Albrecht (General Manager at Uplift Financial) once a month or so, to see some of the things he’s applied from his MBA to what he's working on here.
I am someone that is always trying new things. I’m a Mexican that plays rugby and skis, an economist that’s coding, and I'm someone that’s coming from a government organization to a one-man team. In every stage of my time at Cogo I’ve had someone teach me how to improve my code, understand marketing campaigns, and learn how to think like an entrepreneur. Having a mentor like John Roland (VP, Venture Development) has been a key to my success at Cogo. You’re never alone here and everyone here wants you to succeed."
To come join a team of like-minded, entrepreneurial people here at Cogo, click the link here to apply for one of our open positions! We're always looking for new talent to help grow and succeed. https://grnh.se/3e0a44ff2