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News & Analysis

Startup Daily TV: Smart building startup Cognian is rethinking offices to lure people back to work

- February 3, 2021 2 MIN READ
Cognian CEO Mark Blum
Smart building technology company ended 2020 on a high, with a new chairman, a deal with ASX-listed energy software company Simble and being named Best New Proptech at The Urban Developer Awards.

Former Macquarie Group executive director Matthew Banks has signed on as the new board chair, replacing foundation chair Spiro Pappas after five years.

Pappas remains on the board and praised his successor, saying “now is the right time for a property industry leader of Matthew’s calibre to chair the board and guide the Cognian leadership team into its next phase of growth”. 

Banks comes to Cognian in the eye of a perfect storm, it seems, ready to make the most of the emerging opportunities.

“In Cognian, I see a company with a unique approach to connecting buildings, and helping owners and managers address the ever-present issues of security, comfort, hygiene, sustainability and cost-control, all of which have been brought under the spotlight like never before,” he said.

His arrival coincides with Cognian’s Smart Canopy as-a-Service named best new Proptech in Australia at The Urban Developer Awards. Using the company’s Syncromesh wireless technology it has the ability to turn any building a smart building.

Cognian co-founder and CEO Mark Blum said the award recognised how the company’s technology can enable human-centric smart buildings.

“It is an endorsement of our open standards approach that lets owners, building managers and tenants expand their smart building capabilities as the demands of the post-pandemic world dictate, with minimal occupant interruption,” he said.

Having expanded its partnership ecosystem in 2020 with a range of property and technology industry leaders, including Microsoft, Mirvac Ventures, Reekoh, Barhead, the four-year-old Sydney-based tech startup has signed a new deal with ASX-listed smart energy provider Simble to roll out the SimbleSense energy measurement and verification platform for all buildings where Syncromesh is deployed.

Cognian has now deployed Syncromesh to more than 20 buildings to date and Blum says it’s “something a little bit like your Amazon Alexa or your Google Home in the home environment” offering multi-function flexibility in a commercial office environment.

The challenge for 2021 is about attracting people back into the office and Blum is turning Cognian’s attention to helping make that happen.

The Startup Daily show on Ausbiz spoke to Blum just before Christmas about the trends in property for the year ahead and how technology will help transform the office as people return to work. 

You can watch what he had to say below:

Don’t forget you can turn into the “hour of power” – as our guests have dubbed it – every weekday from 2-3pm on ausbiz.com.au, for the latest news in tech and startups.

If you can’t make it, then you can always catch up on what our guests had to say on demand via the ausbiz site. It’s free once you sign up.