Building relationships and trend-jacking
Bright.md developed an automated patient intake and virtual care connection platform that transforms the direct-to-patient telehealth journey for patients and providers. Cogenta launched the company with their seed funding in 2014 and continued to guide PR efforts under founder and CEO Dr. Ray Costantini, M.D. Cogenta bolstered Dr. Costantini’s presence in the market, making him and Bright.md media darlings.
As the pandemic spread to the U.S. in early 2020, we saw an opportunity to link telehealth and virtual care to the crisis. We created media opportunities that highlighted Bright.md’s leadership with possibly the first online Covid screener and landed the client in STAT, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider and on the CB Insights Digital Health 150 list.
Length of partnership: 6 years
Building a proactive PR campaign that keeps paying off
Carrum Health developed the first-ever digital marketplace that enables employers to purchase healthcare services directly from top providers for better, more cost-effective care. Cogenta helped Carrum strengthen its connections with reporters at top-tier outlets, building relationships and filling a funnel of consistent coverage in Bloomberg, Business Insider, TechCrunch, Fierce Healthcare, Modern Healthcare, Becker’s Hospital Review, Benefits Pro, Employee Benefit News, Fortune, Kaiser Health News, CB Insights and more.
Length of partnership: 5+ years
Product Launch: Akasha Imaging
Standing out in a crowded market and busy news cycle
Akasha Imaging, developer of “deep imaging” for industrial automation, received $10.75 million in Series A funding from Khosla Ventures and Sierra Ventures. As Akasha’s PR partner for this launch, we knew we had exciting news to push out, but it came at a bad time. Akasha was set to launch on the same day that C3, Airbnb and DoorDash all were scheduled to IPO, which surely would dominate the business news cycle. Not only that, Akasha's funding announcement hit during the critically busy Thanksgiving and December holidays.
Cogenta quickly pivoted strategy to reach reporters outside the general venture capital and funding ecosystem – casting a wider net on trade publications and AI-focused business reporters. By playing up Akasha’s polarized 3D technology, which was developed in the MIT media labs, and by positioning Akasha’s founder as a visionary tech expert, we secured interest from a top-tier reporter at Axios AI, whose feature article led to more coverage.
Creating a new category and owning it
Founded in 2014 on the heels of the JOBS Act, CrowdStreet is a high-volume crowdfunding platform that connects accredited investors to commercial real estate opportunities. Cogenta came on for the launch and early stages of the company, challenged to establish brand recognition and trust in this new marketplace. We nurtured media relationships and positioned CrowdStreet’s innovative founders as fintech experts. Today, CrowdStreet is the nation's largest online real estate investing platform, with more than $2.8 billion invested across 580 deals. It was named the “Best Overall Real Estate Crowdfunding Site” by Investopedia for 2021 and 2022.
Length of partnership: 4 years
Seven Peaks Ventures
Building a capital bridge from Bend to Silicon Valley
Dino Vendetti had an idea: Build a tech ecosystem in a growing hub outside Silicon Valley and connect it to capital FROM the Valley. He launched Seven Peaks Ventures in 2013 as Bend, Oregon’s first venture capital fund alongside the FoundersPad accelerator.
From the start, Cogenta positioned Vendetti as a regional VC champion building a bridge between Pacific Northwest entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley investors. We launched initiatives like the Big Bend Theory contest to bring entrepreneurs to Bend, and Bend Bonfire, a highly curated gathering of leaders from startup communities including Boulder, Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. As Seven Peaks' profile grew, so did its wins. Notably, DocuSign founder Tom Gonser sought out and joined the partnership in 2016, and CB Insights featured Seven Peaks as Oregon’s most active VC in 2017 and 2018.
Length of partnership: 7+ years
Positioning industry experts in controversial federal program
Urban Catalyst is a real estate equity fund focused on ground-up development projects in a low-income area of downtown San Jose, CA. Founded by local developers in 2019, Urban Catalyst leveraged the then-new federal Opportunity Zone (OZ) program, which provides tax incentives to private investors and developers for revitalizing depressed communities.
Cogenta helped launch Urban Catalyst's inaugural fund to the national press in July 2019 at a challenging time when media sentiment toward OZs was neutral at best because of rising partisan concerns about gentrification and displacement of community residents, as well as ties to conservative policymakers. We positioned Urban Catalyst founder Erik Hayden as a national OZ expert and the fund as a uniquely local-first investment vehicle. By focusing PR efforts on the fund’s “do good” intentions – energizing a stagnant neighborhood with jobs, housing, retail and infrastructure improvements – Urban Catalyst won one of 10 spots reserved for funds across the nation on the Forbes OZ list in December 2019. Hayden was recognized as one of top 25 OZ influencers by Opportunity Zone Magazine in June 2020.
Length of partnership: 2 years