“How Hard Is It for Startups to Raise Capital in Philly?” in Philly Magazine
By Fabiola Cineas
It’s been said many times before that access to capital is still a challenge for Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs, but the process of securing funds for a new venture is getting easier.
Case in point: COSY (Cognitive Operations Systems, Inc), a software platform that enables robots to navigate retail stores autonomously to help businesses manage inventory and maintain smooth operations. At a talk about innovation and capital at the Pennovation Center on Thursday, the company’s founder and CEO, Jonas Cleveland, announced a $2.3 million seed round of funding led by Intel and Chicago’s GoodPoint Ventures. Safeguard Scientifics participated in the round and we know from previous reporting that Ben Franklin Technology Partners also backed the company.
So what was it like for COSY to raise the funds? Cleveland, a first-time CEO and third-time founder said he had to learn a lot about how to impress investors. As an engineer at heart, he discovered that it was essential to be well versed in his technology, but he also became a retail nerd to hone his value proposition for consumers. (It looks like his work paid off: Walgreens is already locked in as a customer, and Cleveland said the country’s top 10 retailers flew to Pennovation to meet with his team.)
Robotics MSE '14
Ruth Yalom Stone Professor, CIS