In a world of technology and digital advancement, data visualisation has fast become all the rage.

With some amazing tools available like Tableau and Power BI, you can create all sorts of graphing wizardry to see data in so many different ways to tell whatever story you want.

But when it comes to observational data, no one has given much thought to how it’s collected, or the pain endured from the required manual input into something that gives it meaning. That is until a start up saw that archaic methods needed a revamp, that researchers should not have to suffer unnecessarily and projects relying on observational data to be successful shouldn’t become a casualty of outdated processes.

When you look around at the things that are now every day inclusions in your life – your car, your TV, the device you’re reading this on – they were all once an idea; the dream of someone who could see there was a better way. But what’s the one contributing factor to success they all had in common?

A first believer.

For Cogniom, gaining a reputation as a “disruptor” when it comes to data collection was one thing (and a pretty cool thing I might add!). When we began to see the eyes of everyone we met light up like a kid on Christmas, and listened as they began to brainstorm all the ‘other’ projects they could finally complete successfully with our software, we started to believe that we were truly on to something.

But the labels, the compliments, the encouragement and all the well-intended thoughts could only get us so far in building our business. Now, don’t get me wrong, those labels and encouragements and well-intended thoughts will forever be appreciated beyond comprehension.

They are what put the fire in our bellies to keep going, but being able to secure a first sale or investor, well that would be quite another thing altogether. What we needed was someone with the means and the courage to back those positive comments with action. Someone to stand up and say..

“I believe in you enough to give you a chance”


For us, it came in the form of a first investor. Our Cornerstone.

The founders of No Holds Bard Trust believe in innovation and have been investing for years in projects spanning multiple industries including real estate and oil and gas, as well as innovative start ups, like Cogniom. Their incredible experience in non-for profit, corporate and government organisations, coupled with their wealth of knowledge surrounding business development, governance and strategic planning makes them a force to be reckoned with.

For Karen and Wade, it was ultimately a no-brainer to invest in a business they believe will “disrupt the time and motion space”. Having followed our journey from inception, they could see the massive impact our solution was having even in the earliest of days. By taking a chance on our business, they have entrusted us with their reputation, invested not only a monetary value but also their time, and showed a willingness to share their knowledge and experience to help us achieve our goals.

What’s more, is their investment in Cogniom has provided us with a platform to stand on and engage in discussions with other investors in order to close out our Pre-Seed investment round. This is a ripple effect that only a Cornerstone can provide and is a moment in Cogniom history that won’t ever be forgotten.


The first official paying customer is another pretty massive milestone in the life of a start-up. Another business willing to put their own reputation and business outcomes on the line to allow you the space to prove your worth to the rest of the market is extraordinary. They are the ones who might have to work through the initial bugs and a rougher version of the ultimate start up goal. Honestly, first adopters often should receive a medal for their patience, courage to try and feedback that ultimately becomes an investment in future iterations.

S3 Consult was our first adopter who was willing to put money on the line and include TANDM as part of their own business process. Their excitement and encouragement has been insatiable and our partnership is set to continue and grow for years to come. As is our shared fashion sense…

We have been incredibly lucky to have a number of advisors join our team, that without whom we probably wouldn’t be standing here today. However when our first major mentor stood on the stage of the Med Tech’s Got Talent competition and fought other healthcare organisations for the title, it was another first that would change our landscape forever. They came in the shape of Johnson and Johnson Medical who has opened doors for us that we could have never otherwise imagined possible at this stage in our journey.

The excitement continues with J&J surgical theatre trials planned for the coming months where we’ll get to make the benefit realisation projects surrounding their new projects so much easier to accomplish.

These massive firsts mean we can continue with our “disruptor” status, that we can influence change in the way data is collected and enable others to change the lives of so many. Already we are seeing MONTHS of time being saved for those using the TANDM Suite and the ripple of impact on the lives of nurses, physicians and patients will soon follow. The excitement and positive change will only continue to grow as TANDM moves into other industries as well. Conversations and negotiations with investors and potential clients continue to grow daily, and so much of that growth is thanks in no small part to those first adopters.

These are the moments where we stop just talking about our ideas and dreams and start actually living them. These are the opportunities success stories are born from. But I think the best feeling comes from knowing that our ‘firsts’ mean we will one day be able to pay it forward and  gift a ‘first’ to the next start up ready to change the world.

Remembering that Steve Jobs was once a start up founder, who knows what that start up you met the other day is capable of…

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