Ms. Rie Kawano runs COGNITEE Inc., which provides AI analysis and feedback services for sales talks and interviews. She says that sessions with her mentor at APT Women helped the company to strengthen its business foundation. With its renewed motto, "aggressively take on challenges rather than focusing on success," the company has just set off on a new journey.
The dispatch program to Singapore showed me new opportunities
I founded my company after working for a few companies, including Sony. My company provides AI analysis services to assess the content of discourses, which was conventionally hard to evaluate objectively, and give specific feedback based on quantitative data. For example, our service is useful in improving sales talks. Companies can develop effective measures to improve sales talk skills by comparing discourse data between salespeople achieving top performance and those with poor records. To date, more than 100 companies have used our services for this purpose. I joined APT Women to get the solid knowledge on business, which was required as my company grew. During the dispatch program to Singapore, someone said to me, "we want a service to screen talented people in job interviews, rather than a service for improving sales talks." This gave me a great hint for new business opportunities. After I came back to Japan, we started to develop a new service to analyze the quality of job interviews. This service is first being distributed in overseas markets, prior to the Japanese market.
Running through the three-month program side by side with the mentor to solve the company's internal issues
As the company grew and started to hire more people, we faced new internal challenges, such as the issue of retention of employees and inconsistency surrounding the direction of each division. This is where I asked my mentor at APT Women to support me. First of all, in order to clarify top-priority issues, I conducted a questionnaire with 150 employees. After identifying the issues, we clarified what kind of talents is needed and developed a new hiring system. I also changed my company's action principles to clearer guidelines, such as "is there social and long-term significance or not," "aggressively take on challenges rather than focusing on success (i.e., improve through trial and error rather than focusing on the success rate)," and "take three minutes at the end of a meeting to give a thought to the opposite opinion." Having worked with my mentor and solved problems one by one through the three-month program, I'm now fully ready to move forward.
Spend time for cooking and drawing
I loved to use my hands and create things from when I was a child. Especially, I really enjoy cooking. I started a "company cafeteria" about two years ago. I've cooked chicken rice, pasta, steak and many other dishes in the company's kitchen and enjoyed dining with my colleagues. I love drinking beer and eating good food. I feel refreshed and recharged after not only cooking but also painting pictures.
I want to free people from preconceptions and give them more options
I also had my own business when I was a teenager. I developed an online forum where athletes and experts could exchange information. I also had a chance to give a presentation at an academic conference. This was only possible because I refused the preconception that teenagers cannot have their own businesses and had good people and an environment around me, which gave me various opportunities. This experience gave me a strong motivation for what I want to do in life. I wanted to have a business that would free people from preconceptions and give them more options with the power of technology. Quantitative data sometimes show us insights that are beyond what we could imagine within our limitations. Through various services that we provide, we hope to contribute to building a fair and unbiased society.
COGNITEE Inc. CEORie Kawano
Born in Tokushima Prefecture in 1982. Graduated from the Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University. Founded and became President of an NPO in 2001 while studying at university. Joined Sony Corporation in 2005, where she mainly engaged in management strategy development and product planning in the camera department. Joined DeNA Co., Ltd. in 2011. Founded COGNITEE Inc. in 2013.