It Takes a Team: Reflecting on a Great 2018

From all of us on the Kognito team, thanks for making this a great year.

From our CEO, Ron Goldman

2018 has been an exciting and challenging year – from being acquired, to doubling our team to over 85 people, introducing new products and innovations, reaching one million Kognito users to date, and continuing to push the envelope on how conversations with virtual humans can drive meaningful changes in social, emotional, and physical health. Throughout these successes, we stayed true to our core mission, vision, and our entrepreneurship DNA, and we couldn’t have prevailed without our team of exceptionally talented and motivated people. Their synergetic power is what has set Kognito on a path for continuing growth and accomplishments.

Client Experience

The client experience team strives to make the implementation of Kognito as seamless as possible. This year, we were proud to have achieved this by deepening relationships with our clients and champions at all levels – everyone from a school district leader to a professor of nursing. By activating a network of stakeholders who see the value of Kognito, our team saw a record increase in the number of health professionals, students, teachers, caregivers, and patients who engaged with us. The team is looking forward to a continued focus on innovation of our products that will improve the experience for our clients and end users.


The marketing team is proud to have worked closely with our clients and partners to broadcast their stories and bring new, innovative applications of our virtual humans to market. This includes the work that UNICEF USA and Mental Health America of Greater Houston are doing to support their communities post-hurricane Harvey with the implementation of Kognito, and the impact that schools like Princeton, La Salle University, and Washington University in St. Louis are having on student mental health. We also had the privilege of working with the CDC and NACDD to bring a new application of Kognito’s virtual humans to market – patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer can interact with a Kognito virtual breast cancer survivor to answer questions about difficult topics like chemotherapy and survivorship./blog/post-harvey-houston-teachers-learn-to-respond-to-trauma


When Kognito was acquired by Ascend Learning in 2017 – something only 1 in 65,000 small companies achieves – we were challenged with producing a plan to balance corporate objectives with our own mission, our employees’ expectations, and ultimately financial performance. We are proud to report that we are hitting on all cylinders, which would not be possible without everyone’s individual and departmental performance, as well as overall company performance this year.


This year the production team released a record 35 new conversations with virtual humans across our simulations! We also rolled out new features, new experiences, and new innovations, such as improved user dashboards and more realistic features for our virtual humans and environments. We doubled in size, which is a great achievement in and of itself, but as we did so, our team has been incredibly adaptable to new processes, workload, and staff. In the next year, production is going to be conquering new topics and simulations, aiming to grow our output even more in 2019.


As our research team grows, we are excited about the growth in volume of published peer-reviewed academic articles and empirically-based studies in progress that support the efficacy of our simulations. This efficacy has implications for addressing the needs of populations, especially vulnerable groups, in critical areas like school safety, mental health stigma, teacher burnout, chronic care, collaborative communication in healthcare, and early detection of substance use to address our national opioid crisis.


The sales team is proud of the continued growth in expansion of our client base and the scale of our partnerships from 2018. We’ve solidified relationships with some of the most innovative health departments in the country, a major international aid organization, and even a professional sports team. These partnerships amplify our reach into communities across the country in a way that we couldn’t do on our own. We look forward to scaling through more commercial partnerships in 2019.


The tech team is most proud of our ability to continue to elevate our platform to an enterprise level. We’ve continued to introduce new features into our simulations that further enhance their capability to build and assess competencies and conduct analytics, with some exciting improvements in store for 2019. We are also continuing to integrate with our clients’ and partners’ systems to provide the seamless experience that our users have come to know and trust.

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