Speaker Profile: Bennett Collen

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01Bennett Collen
CEO — Cognate
Twitter | LinkedIn | Cognate Twitter


Session Name: Practical Strategies for Disciplined Growth
Location: Boston, MA
Favourite extension: .com
Domain name you wished you owned: trademark.com
Now reading: The Business Blockchain by William Mougayar
Now watching: Westworld
Best city for conferences: Las Vegas, NV
Your mentor: My father


Describe your company and how long you have been there?

Cognate is the first step in trademark protection. We use technology to help businesses protect their trademark rights quickly and affordably. Cognate uses blockchain technology to make an immutable record of your trademark rights, and a machine-learning trademark monitoring algorithm to find and alert you to any potential infringement or misuse of your trademark. I founded Cognate in 2014.

What can attendees look forward to during your session?

Practical and actionable advice on how to grow a company, no matter the industry. I’ll discuss strategies for crafting and honing a pitch, gaining initial traction, and run through a list of tools that I use that make starting and running a business more manageable.

What can attendees do in order to prepare for your session? Are there any questions or scenarios they should consider in advance?

Think about your company’s objectives and current day-to-day operations. What can be improved?

What would you like attendees to learn or take away from your session?

Concrete action items that can be applied immediately to improve your business.

Can you tell us about how your service or product helps deliver value to your customers?

Trademarks (names/brands) are often a company’s most valuable asset because a distinctive trademark has virtually unlimited potential for commercial value. Cognate makes protecting trademarks easy, fast, and affordable, so any company — regardless of size, stage, or budget — can take proactive steps to safeguard this incredibly valuable asset. Cognate’s Common Law Trademark (CM) Registry uses blockchain technology to make an immutable record of your trademark rights, creating a timeline of use of your mark. Once your application is approved, you also gain the right to use the CM Certification Mark in conjunction with your trademark (ex: CognateCM), putting potential infringers on notice of your claimed trademark rights. Cognate also uses a machine-learning trademark monitoring algorithm to find and alert you to any potential infringement or misuse of your trademark, allowing you to catch potential conflicts early, and resolve them inexpensively.

What are your thoughts on the new TLDs?

They create exciting new branding opportunities!

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming NamesCon?

Networking. NamesCon always boasts an impressive list of attendees

Who are you excited to hear speak at NamesCon? Why? 

I’m looking forward to “The Name Game: Discover Unique Naming Strategies” Meet the Expert panel with Adam Strong and Victor Pitts. Names fascinate me (which is why I spend all my time helping people protect their names), and I’m always interested in hearing new strategies for naming, since most traditional company names are already ‘taken’.

How does your career compare to what you envisioned in your youth?

I wanted to be the starting shortstop and ace of the Boston Red Sox, so I’d say I came up short.

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I use technology to help companies protect their most valuable assets (their trademarks) for a fraction of the cost and time of the traditional avenues for trademark protection.

If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

Read. Still the most effective vehicle for learning (for me, at least) and I don’t make as much time for it as I should.

Where is your favourite place to escape?

The beach.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

“Done is better than perfect” is the best advice I received about starting a business. Doesn’t apply in all situations, or all walks of life, but there are countless things that need to be done when starting a company, and you can’t give all of them equal attention. Getting things done is more important then getting them done perfectly.

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