Training Company Closes Seed Round

Houston-based Cognota® Inc. has closed its seed round of $750,000, as it plans to ramp up hiring in 2016.

Cognota®, formerly known as In-Acuity, is a knowledge transfer program that largely focuses on oil and gas companies. Cognota® works with companies to design and develop training courses for employees based on knowledge from current and past employees. It’s designed to solve the knowledge gap in the energy industry, CEO Ryan Austin said.

Ryan Austin, CEO of Houston-based Cognota® Inc., a workforce development company

The company currently has a pilot program with Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co. (NYSE: SWN) and recently signed another pilot with a super-major oil and gas company, although Austin declined to name which one.

The seed round, which was expected to be $650,000, closed Dec. 31. Investors included Daniel Cotlar, CMO of Blinds.com; Keith Kreuer, a partner at Houston firm RedHouse Assoicates; Jim Lawnin, a member of the Houston Angel Network; and Louis Raspino, former CEO of Pride International, which was bought by Ensco in 2011.

The 2016 game plan is to hire. By year end, the company plans on growing to about 15 employees, adding to the company’s technology staff. There are also plans for a Series A investment in 2017, Austin said.

Cognota® was a part of the recent accelerator class for the popular energy business accelerator, Surge Ventures LLC.

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