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Our Company

Cogno® is a multimedia children’s brand that combines fun characters, stories and games to entertain and engage kids ages 7-13 in creative and critical thinking. It has been described as “Star Wars meets the Magic School Bus.” Meet the Cogno characters!

Cogno games and syndicated puzzlers are distributed in the U.S. and Australia. Expansion to the U.K. and Canada is planned in 2008. Cogno puzzlers reach hundreds of thousands of children per week, exposing them to the Cogno brand, characters, and content.

We combine intensely kid-driven product development with a unique approach to making critical thinking and learning a blast. For ages 7 and up, our board games inspire kids to explore the workings of space and the universe, to figure out how to figure something out and to love the wonder of discovery. Our Codebreaker® game lets them explore the symbolic foundations of language and math as they lose themselves in a wildly fun game of creativity. Our newest, Prime Suspect™, let’s kids play a “spies go fish” card game with secret identities (our Cogno characters), while manipulating numbers in infinite ways!

Cogno’s book properties include a reference guide series, activity books, and a novel series in which Cogno and his team are brought to life as detectives that walk the edge of fiction and fact. We’re proud that Bill Nye The Science Guy®, the nation's best-known children's science educator, wrote a foreword for Mindshifters, the second book in the Cogno® book series.

"I couldn't put Mindshifters down. The charm of this series is that you learn as you read. You can't help it. These books are just fun. It's a journey you'll enjoy with science you can keep."

Bill Nye The Science Guy®

Cogno board games and books have received 27 national awards, and have been featured by media including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, PBS affiliate KETC, and dozens of other newspapers, television and radio stations. See these and other testimonials from parents, kids, teachers and other experts.

We are actively pursuing licenses for book publishing and interactive gaming through leading agency representation.

Our Mission

Inspire children to think critically and imaginatively.

Our Vision

Cogno will make thinking and figuring things out

“cool” again, for a generation of children.

 

Our Management

Stuart Montaldo, CEO and Founder

Cogno creator Stuart Montaldo has developed ground-up business strategy for new brands, driven product development, created integrated marketing plans, and led as a general manager in high-growth companies including DoubleStar, LLC and Boston-based Imagitas, Inc.

Before creating Cogno, Stuart developed educational and fun products for families by publishing a parenting magazine and other content-based pieces for young families who purchase 12-15 million McDonald’s Happy Mealsâ every week. He orchestrated integrated promotions for the 11,000-restaurant McDonald’s system, one of which was publicly recognized by the First Lady and by the Secretary of Education. He negotiated national media and marketing agreements with Fortune 500 Companies including General Motors, McDonald’s, and Procter & Gamble, as well as with the Department of Education, the U.S. Postal Service and not-for-profit agencies.  He has consulted in marketing, business strategy and branding for organizations such as Clear Channel Communications, and led a consulting team to reform the U.S. Postal Service’s strategy and branding for its primary online presence, www.usps.com.

Greg Hoffmann, EVP, Branding, and Executive Board Member

Greg Hoffmann has been involved in brand management and licensing for more than 20 years.  In various roles, Greg has developed extensive experience and valuable contacts in the brand and licensing world, including retailers, distributors, manufacturers, publishers, advertising and marketing agencies, publicists and trade associations.


As CEO and co-owner of Mary Engelbreit Studios, Inc., Greg steered the licensing powerhouse to $1 billion in lifetime retail sales by 2005. Under his leadership, the Mary Engelbreit® brand grew to include more than 250 books, calendars, greeting cards, crafts, apparel and home décor products; a national chain of retail stores, including an e-commerce operation; a nationally distributed women’s magazine with net paid circulation in excess of 500,000; and an internationally distributed animated film based on an illustrated book. He also planned the development of a multitude of product and promotional programs with major retailers and manufacturers such as Target, Wal-Mart, Mervyn’s, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hallmark, Georgia-Pacific and Toyota.

Jennie Meresak, Director, Operations and Marketing

 

DoubleStar’s Marketing & Operations Director Jennie Meresak majored in Finance and Biology at Washington University’s Olin School of Business. Jennie worked in Los Angeles for a startup company, managing distribution, outside sales reps and overall company sales.

Jennie leads company operations, overseas production, content syndication, and key elements of new product development. She co-invented Cogno’s Codebreaker game and upcoming new games.

David Grebler, Consultant and Executive Board Member

David Grebler has been in the toy and game business for more than 20 years, most notably as a partner of Pokonobe Associates, the worldwide licensor of the game Jenga®. One of the most successful products in the industry, Jenga is sold through leading game companies in more than 50 countries.

Through his D-Squared Group, Grebler consults with creative individuals – inventors, writers and artists -- to develop and license new products for consumer markets. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and of Carnegie-Mellon University’s graduate business school, he formerly was a business and financial journalist with the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Business Week magazine, and Reuters News.

 

Our Agents and Business Partners

Cathy Hemming, Literary Agent

Cathy Hemming PhotoCathy Hemming is the former President of HarperCollins Publishing. Cathy began her career in the book industry 30 years ago and joined HarperCollins in 1998, serving for six years as the President and Publisher of the General Books Group where she oversaw 17 adult imprints including Wm. Morrow, Avon, HarperCollins, The Ecco Press, Amistad, Rayo, Perennial and HarperSanFrancisco. Under her leadership the Group delivered record sales, profits, and cash flows.


Ed Dille, Interactive Games Representative

Ed Dille PhotoEd Dille is the CEO of FOG Studios. FOG Studios has been responsible for the creation of over $3 Billion dollars of revenue for its clients and customers via the placement of over 5,700 interactive titles into the international marketplace since 1979. The world’s first and most successful interactive representation agency, FOG exclusively represents independent videogame development studios, brand and intellectual property owners, and service providers to the interactive entertainment industry from around the world.

 

 

 


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