Cognota® wins Elliott Masie’s Learning Barracuda Bowl in Orlando, Florida

New York – October 29, 2016 –Cognota®, the creators of the Learning Design System (LDS), announced today that it was selected as the first place winner at this year’s Barracuda Bowl, a concept of the “Shark Tank” TV show, but applied to the world of learning.  The event took place at Learning 2016, a conference hosted by Elliott Masie’sin Orlando, Florida.

“There is a significant opportunity for EdTech start-ups in the corporate learning space. At Learning 2016, we will showcase several of the most cutting edge innovators as part of our Barracuda Bowl” said Elliott Masie, Host & Curator, Learning 2016.

The goal of Learning Barracuda Bowl was to bring new and agile technology innovations into the world of corporate and workplace learning.  It selected eight Learning Start-Ups (out of 200 plus applicants)who are building new Learning Systems – to pitch groups of the 1600 conference participants for a Thumbs Up (or Thumbs Down).  The Barracuda Bowl was direct, harsh and brought a new edge of Learning Focused Barracuda’s to the emerging world of Learning Technology.

“It was an amazing experience and our team was ecstatic to learn that we won – we had tough competition”, said Ryan Austin, CEO at Cognota®.  “The Barracuda Bowl provided a platform to connect with senior learning professionals at scale to gain further validation around the problem we solve.”

The MASIE Center teamed up with USC’s Rossier School of Education, a top tier school of education with a long track record of ground-breaking innovation, and StartED, a new initiative that works with entrepreneurs, investors, and universities to catalyze education innovation, to create the Learning Barracuda Bowl at Learning 2016.  Several early-stage learning start-ups, largely incubated at universities, gave five minute pitches to Learning 2016 participants. The conference was produced by The Learning CONSORTIUM, a collaborative of 200 global corporations, focused on improving workplace learning and training. Keynote speakers included Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, U.S. Astronaut Scott Kelly, Twitter CLO Melissa Daimler, Actor George Takei, Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, Elliott Masie and more. 

Launched in 2015 by a trio of cofounders (Ryan Austin, Josh Crohn and Sebastian Leks), Cognota® is helping learning designers overcome certain challenges when creating instruction.  “Current instructional design processes are driven by manual techniques which can be fragmented, time-consuming and frustrating. We’re streamlining this with our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform” said Austin. Over the past year, Cognota® has connected with Chief Learning Officers, VP’s and Learning Designers from a variety of business organizations, including Google, Southwestern Energy, LinkedIn, Kaplan, Hitachi,, Cosentino, amongst others. Austin said that the market needs a tool that aligns to best practices and accelerates learning design efforts in a more cost- and resource-effective manner. 

In December 2015, Cognota® closed a Seed Investment Round for $750,000 from Venture Capital firms and angel investors from Houston and New York.  The company recently announced plans to secure additional financing to accelerate product development, expand the core team, deepen marketing and sales efforts, and capitalize on growing interest.

To learn more about Cognota®, visit

About Cognota®:

Cognota® provides a cloud-based Learning Design System (LDS)™ that decreases the time and cost it takes to design learning projects. Cognota® lets learning designers collaborate with other stakeholders to quickly design, refine and manage effective learning projects in one place.  Whether you’re seasoned or new to learning, Cognota® provides an intuitive process to design learning outcomes around exact needs and scientifically validated instructional design practices. It transforms the chaotic process of designing learning into a streamlined, efficient approach.

Media Contact

Sara Sublousky

Uproar PR for Cognota®

321-236-0102 x232

You might also like

Article Details

Collaborate & Grow:
Discover the

Cognota® wins Elliott Masie’s Learning Barracuda Bowl in Orlando, Florida