Chief Operating Officer
As Cognovi Labs’ COO, Jim oversees key corporate functions including finance, operations, client servicing, human resources and marketing.
Jim began his illustrious career as a CPA for Deloitte followed by executive positions at Freddie Mac, Prudential Home Mortgage, Citi and Freedom Mortgage.
While the Assistant Controller at Freddie Mac, Jim published an influential article on market value accounting in the Journal of Accountancy, which subsequently led to changes by the FASB in the way balance sheet accounting is treated.
As COO of CitiAuto, Jim helped double annual earnings to $235M by increasing sales and reducing losses on auto loans.
Jim received his MBA, Finance/Accounting from California State University – Los Angeles and a BA, Political Science/Psychology from Washington University in St Louis.
Global Revenue Officer
Colin is the Global Revenue Officer at Cognovi Labs.
He spent his 16 year career in business development at two entrepreneurial firms, both of which he joined close to inception. He worked closely with the principals to build their companies from seed to mature stage.
The first venture was Caris & Company, an investment bank. Caris was acquired by B. Riley Financial where Colin continued in a senior role. The second venture was Somar Capital, a data-intensive fundamental hedge fund.
At both companies, he cultivated multi-year client relationships across multiple industries. He structured distribution deals, and managed pipelines with dozens of current customers and hundreds of partners.
Colin is excited to combine his passions for technology, finance and behavioral psychology by introducing clients to Cognovi’s revolutionary machine learning software.
Colin received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington.
Zach currently serves as the President, Cognovi Gov. Services. Prior to joining Cognovi Labs, Zach spent a few years between DXC Technology and Enlighten (EITC) where he focused on identifying client capability gaps and leading strategic sales to meet the demands of the mission-critical technology and services ecosystems.
Before pivoting to the private sector, Zach served in the US Army and Joint organizations with distinction in various special operations forces across the Dept of Defense and Intelligence Community.
Due to combat injuries, he was medically retired from active duty, last serving at the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG). Zach specialized in information warfare, technology integration, irregular warfare, and national security policy and strategy.
His education includes a MA of International Service from American University, MBA from the University of Phoenix, and a Double BA in Sociology and Political Science from Ohio University.
Nirit Pisano, Ph.D., is the Chief Psychology Officer at Cognovi Labs.
A licensed psychologist, Nirit has spent the past 15 years studying human emotions and behavior through the lens of clinical and developmental psychology.
Nirit advises the Cognovi Team on the emotional processes underlying individual affective expressions and collective behavioral trends.
Nirit received her B.A. in Psychology from Tufts University, graduating Summa Cum Laude with Highest Thesis Honors. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University.
Nirit fulfilled her clinical training at Bellevue Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center, and Bronx Psychiatric Center, and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Pace University’s Counseling Center. She currently works in private practice with a psychoanalytic lens and a specialization in trauma.
Nirit has published a book on intergenerational Holocaust trauma as well as a number of related chapters in edited psychological volumes. She has presented her research at interdisciplinary conferences in the United States and abroad.
Alan currently manages all architectural developments of Cognovi Labs’ systems platform and has been involved with the underlying technology since its early days of development.
Alan began his career as a Web Application Developer at Profound Logic and completed a four-month internship at IBM Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley.
A Graduate Research Assistant at Kno.e.sis Center at Wright State University, Alan is co-author of several peer-reviewed research publications.
These publications describe methods and applications for applying semantic web techniques to a multitude of use cases – including biomedical knowledge exploration and drug abuse epidemiology using social media data. Alan earned his MS and BS in Computer Science from Wright State University.
Jeremy is responsible for the front-end development of Cognovi Labs’ SaaS platform.
He created the suite of APIs and many of the specialized components of Cognovi’s social media technology – including spam filtration, entity extraction and location identification.
During his tenure as a Software Engineer at the Kno.e.sis Center at Wright State University, Jeremy was involved in several leading-edge projects including the creation of a social media-based tool for Emergency Response risk management and a mashup that uses social media streams to validate review sites and generate movie suggestions.
Jeremy, a student and Intern Advisor at the Kno.e.sis Center, received his BS, Computer Science at Wright State University.
Oded is a Data Scientist at Cognovi Labs, responsible for quantitative analysis, programming and data mining primarily within Cognovi’s financial vertical.
Prior to joining Cognovi, Oded was an investment banker and financial advisor in one of Israel’s largest Investment Banks, responsible for business valuations, M&A and capital issuance.
He was also a financial analyst in an Israeli hedge fund, responsible for identifying value investments, and constructing systematic investment strategies. After moving to the US in 2016, Oded joined an early-stage startup in the real-estate information technology space as a data analyst.
Prior to the above, Oded served in the IDF’s unit 8200 as the operations officer, responsible for mission execution and leading the command room.
Oded holds a BA from Tel Aviv University with a double major in Accounting and Economics and a MA in Statistics with a Data Science track from Columbia University.
Caroline is member of Cognovi’s Business Insights team that provides deep analytics for the financial services, health care, political and retail sectors.
A 2019 graduate of Temple University, Caroline joined Cognovi Labs following a 2-year analytics internship with company.
Mike is a software engineer at Cognovi Labs with a specific focus on machine learning systems development and classifier production.
He worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at Kno.e.sis Center at Wright State University studying application and integration of deep learning solutions centered around both textual and image-based data.
Mike has received his BS in Computer Engineering at Wright State University and is currently pursuing an MS in Computer Engineering in the area of intelligent system design.
Mike worked as system administrator for the Kno.e.sis Center, managing an OpenStack cluster computer environment while concurrently performing research for projects related to disaster relief management and assistance.
Jeff Hoffman is an award-winning global entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, bestselling author, Hollywood film producer, a producer of a Grammy Award winning jazz album, and executive producer of an Emmy Award winning television show. In his career, he has been the founder of multiple startups, he has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and he has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known successful startups, including Priceline.com/Booking.com, uBid.com and more.
Jeff is the CEO of Driving Force Enterprises, a strategic consulting firm that teaches exponential growth to business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as teaching innovation strategies to corporations and governments worldwide. Jeff serves on the boards of companies in the US, Europe, the Middle East, South America, Africa, and Asia. He supports entrepreneurs and small businesses on a worldwide basis. He is the Chairman of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, which works with entrepreneurs in 180 countries, as well as being a founding board member of The Unreasonable Group, whose startup companies have operations in 185 countries and have raised over $4 billion in funding. He is also the Global Chairman of Dream Tank, a worldwide youth problem solving network. Jeff supports the White House, the State Department, the United Nations, and similar organizations internationally on economic growth initiatives and entrepreneurship programs.
Jeff is a frequent keynote speaker, having been invited to speak in over 60 countries. He speaks on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and business leadership, and is the author of the book SCALE, a how-to guide for growing your business. Jeff also teaches innovation workshops to major corporations on a regular basis.
Jeff is a featured business expert seen on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, CNN International, Bloomberg News, CNBC, ABC, and NPR, and in publications including Forbes, Inc., Time, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and more.
Jeff was honored with the Champion of Entrepreneurship Award from JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and Rising Tide Capital, as well as receiving the George Brown Award for International Cooperation from the US State Department. Jeff received the Commitment to Excellence Award from CitySummit in 2019, as well as receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award and being inducted into the Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame for his contributions to the field of entrepreneurship. He was also honored with the Best of the Best Award from the national CEO association (Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization).
Outside of the world of technology, Jeff has produced TV shows, has produced movies in Hollywood, has produced musical events including concerts, tours, and charity events with such artists as Elton John, Britney Spears, NSYNC, Boyz II Men, and others, and serves on numerous charity and non-profit boards.
Co-Founder & Technical Advisor
Dr. Amit Sheth is an educator, professor, researcher and entrepreneur. He is the Founding Director of the Artificial Intelligence Institute at the University of South Carolina and Professor of its Computer Science & Engineering Department. Prior, Dr. Sheth was the Ohio Eminent Scholar and the Executive Director of the Kno.e.sis Center at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
Dr. Sheth is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) and a double fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). With a recent h-index of 106 and more than 45,000 citations he is placed among the top 100 most influential authors in computer science worldwide.
Dr. Sheth’s research has led to several commercial products and three start-ups based on licensing of his university research, including Cognovi Labs’ initial AI platform.
Iggy Ioppe has a 20+ year successful track record as a builder of tech companies and investment funds. He was a founder and CEO of Wavemarket/Location Labs – a mobile cloud security company – acquired for $220m cash.
Location Labs has 50m+ users, $200m+ gross revenue, and continues to grow. Most recently, Iggy was a founding partner at Sureview Capital, a TMT long-short equity hedge fund. Sureview secured a strategic investment from Blackstone Group and raised close to $0.5B from global institutions.
Prior to Sureview, he was with Global Proprietary Trading at Credit Suisse. He managed teams of portfolio managers and analysts in U.S. and Asia. Previously, Iggy worked for the legendary investor Jeff Vinik at his $5B+ hedge fund. Iggy also worked at Bain Capital in private equity.
He holds an MBA with High Distinction from Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar), and a BS in Pure Mathematics summa cum laude from McGill University.
He is a co-author of three U.S. patents on software algorithms.
AJ is a seasoned business leader and startup executive with 24 years’ experience in scaling enterprise software organizations in FinTech, Government, Insurance and Fortune 500 Firms. AJ graduated from Lehigh University in 1995 and began his first FinTech sales position with Thomson Financial.
He gained quick success in the market data space and joined select colleagues in his first startup career move at Lionshares, Inc.; a technology disrupter within the market data industry. This proved to be a successful move, with an acquisition by FactSet within 2 years. AJ then joined Eze Castle Software, a Boston-based trading technology startup.
He joined the firm as one of their first employees and demonstrated great success in creating and scaling both their domestic and global sales, sales operations, marketing, account management and customer success organizations.
During his 12.5 year tenure, he played a critical role in two private equity deals and an acquisition and served on the integration team for each company merger. AJ currently serves at Chief Revenue Officer at Evolv Technology. Prior to that, he served as Chief Revenue Officer at Orbital Insight.
Additionally, AJ serves on the advisory board of two startup companies: MapD Technologies, an early-stage San Francisco based technology company focused on database and visualization applications, and Cognovi Labs, an early innovator in the field of Emotion AI based in New York City.
Co-Founder & CEO
Beni Gradwohl is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cognovi Labs. Beni is a senior finance executive, institutional investor and fintech innovator. By combining an analytical discipline with keen business acumen, he has successfully transformed or created new businesses that spanned the consumer finance, institutional securities and investment management disciplines.
Before pivoting into business innovation and fintech, Beni was an EVP at Citi, where he helped stabilize the firm’s residential mortgage business during the financial crisis. Among various responsibilities, he oversaw the company’s $280B mortgage portfolio, the organization’s analytics functions and the development of a new digital acquisition channel. Prior to Citi, Beni was a Managing Director in Institutional Securities at Morgan Stanley and an award-winning Portfolio Manager at investment management firms.
Beni currently serves as an advisor to start-ups and has been invited to several Boards of Directors. In addition to his corporate career, Beni previously held research and teaching assignments at multiple leading academic institutions.
Beni received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Physics, and B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Head of Partnerships
Jim is the Head of Partnerships at Cognovi Labs and is responsible for scaling their commercial vertical while developing, enabling, and monetizing an expanding ecosystem of partners, including advertising agencies, tech/data-driven consultants, and technology integrators.
Jim’s career spans nearly 30 years successfully managing both large and small company’s sales, business development and strategic alliance divisions. He’s redirected and refined several organization’s sales processes and go-to-market strategies to maximize revenue opportunities by focusing on driving successful strategic partnership engagements, while also aligning core initiatives and pursuit objectives to yield unprecedented growth, market penetration and customer satisfaction.
Prior to joining Cognovi Labs, Jim drove double-digit, profitable growth within several verticals including: Manufacturing, Defense, Healthcare, Software Automation, Cyber Security and Automotive for a 75 year old product support documentation contractor. Under his leadership, he routinely repositions his team’s as consultative partners so they better align with their customer’s value propositions, initiatives, and goals to more effectively serve their needs, while also helping to increase their customer satisfaction/service levels and exceed their revenue objectives.
Jim received his B.S. in Business Administration and Management from Columbia College.
Xandra is a software engineer at Cognovi Labs focusing on front-end development.
Prior to joining Cognovi Labs, Xandra worked as a developer on a team of contractors to build an analytical tool for the US Air Force. She has also been a part of creating an eLearning platform for Iowa schoolteachers to complete various training and certification, as well as a progress-tracking application to help students prepare for standardized testing.
Xandra graduated from The University of Iowa in 2020 with a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics.
Narrative Director at Cognovi Labs.
Prior to joining Cognovi Lab, Ravet wrote, produced and directed several acclaimed series and films, including two network specials for CBS and Facebook’s first original scripted series. He has created content for major brands, including Sony, T Mobile and Gatorade. His collective work has won multiple awards and racked up millions of views.
Izzy is a member of Cognovi’s business insights team and works on business insights, data analysis and narrative creation. Izzy graduated from Colgate University in 2021 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.
Previously serving as Director of Product & Strategy to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Microsoft, Yohannes is a Senior Artificial Intelligence (AI) Product Manager for Meta’s cutting-edge content recommendation algorithm. Yohannes was recruited into this role by Meta’s CTO through their highly selective Executive in Residence program.
At Microsoft, Yohannes joined the CTO’s office after directing product and planning for Microsoft’s Cloud & AI division where he led efforts to digital transform enterprise customers via Microsoft’s cloud, Azure. In addition, Yohannes was a member of the Sensitive Use Case task force advising Microsoft’s vision and social-ethical responsibilities for AI. Yohannes joined Microsoft as a Director of Corporate Business Development, commercializing AI, IoT, and the Intelligent Cloud.
Yohannes graduated from the University at Buffalo School of Law as a Barbara and Thomas Fellow for Human Rights and clerked for New York State Supreme Court’s Hon. Paula Feroleto. Elected class director, he received the Hon. Green Commencement and Alumni Trailblazer Award.
Following graduation, Yohannes became associate general Counsel at the Money Management Institute, representing the wealth management industry to the U.S. government during the sweeping regulatory overhaul of the U.S. financial industry in the aftermath of the Great Recession and the creation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Recognition of this work led to his political appointment by President Obama as the senior advisor to the Chief Investment and Innovation officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration. This team managed a $26 billion private equity fund and a $3 billion innovation grant. He was a team leader for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund at the U.S. Department of Treasury and a member of the White House Broadband Council and the White House Business Council. He was among the inaugural class of leaders from the executive branch selected for the White House Economic Leadership Program.
Yohannes received the Microsoft AI Speaker Award and was the master of ceremonies for Microsoft’s Business Summit. He was nominated by the Vice Chairman of Nasdaq as a Young Executive Advisor and was an expert on MIT’s Digital Economy Initiative. Yohannes was a National Finance Co-Chair for the Biden-Harris Presidential Campaign. Yohannes serves on the board of directors for Cognovi Labs.
Jose Arrieta is the former Chief Information Officer and Chief Data Officer of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He is a respected leader in applying emerging technologies, especially blockchain, artificial intelligence/machine learning and process automation. He oversaw $6.3B in IT investments, $800B in grants and $26B in Federal contracts in his last three years at HHS. He provided cyber security solutions for 174,000 people and a network that transacted with over 160 countries around the world.
Jose led the creation and implementation of the largest public health surveillance capability in the United States during the pandemic and established a national machine learning capability to help more accurately distribute testing supplies and predict pandemic “hot spots” across the United States. He also oversaw the first three implementations of blockchain technology in the public sector in the United States and led the creation of a public private key, distributed ledger infrastructure to establish digital identities for commercial, federal, state end points to aid the COVID 19 response effort.
Jose teaches entrepreneurial finance and the first blockchain course at Johns Hopkins University. He recently founded Imagineer, an IT solutions company that focuses on developing foundational tools to enable metaverse solutions for sports and entertainment, mental health, hotel and lodging, and sustainable energy market verticals. He works with Federal customers evaluating and valuing venture backed technology starts-ups in the health and national security space. He currently sits on the board of a publicly traded company and advises a few different start-ups.
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