Nicolas Cognaux - Tech entrepreneur & engineer

I share about development, productivity, open source and entrepreneurship.

About

I’m Nicolas, from Belgium 🇧🇪! I learned engineering at UCL (Université Catholique de Louvain) in Louvain-la-Neuve in Electronics, I graduated in 2016. Since then, I worked in multiple companies and founded two of them. My main interests are in programming, open-source and learning new technologies.

Career

As an engineer in Electronic, I oriented myself towards the Electronic industry. With a good background in Software development and a passion for electronics, I focussed on Embedded development.

I first did an internship at Broadcom, in the VDSL branch. I worked on a software project responsible for streaming debug and log data from DSLAMs to diagnostic servers.

After my graduation in 2016, I started working at Barco Silex as a software engineer. Barco Silex (now Silex Insight) has two divisions: Video Compression and Security. I was in the Security division and worked on the eSecure, an IP that can handle all security and cryptographic aspects of SoCs.

Entrepreneurship

The Planet Needs Help

I discovered Entrepreneurship during my secondary school as I developed a small Website (The Planet Needs Help) at age 14.

This project was a directory of ideas to lower the carbon footprint of our lives. It ranged from using an electric heater in the bathroom instead of the central heating system, to the use of new natural insulation materials etc.

The traffic was around 3000 visitors per week, completely organically. Unfortunately, writing articles and keeping the pace of publications was really hard at that time as I was a student at the same time. So in 2011, I stopped writing and the website died by himself.

Live in Music

Live in Music was a project of streaming website and social network. It was a mashup between last.fm, Spotify and SoundCloud. The idea was to find friends based on our musical tastes. We were two in the team and we never met before really recently. We developed everything in PHP with Symfony 2 and discovered the issues related to Copyrights the hard way. We decided to shut the service down when Spotify emerged. At that time, we were only available in closed beta and had nearly no users.

MyK Applications

MyK Applications was a knowledge management software. The goal of the project was to show the right info, to the right person at the right moment. To do so, we developed different classification and complexity algorithms to understand the data. I was involved in the MVP and then in the development of the project.

The company was based in Israel, which allowed me to discover a completely new culture for me and an incredible city (Tel Aviv).

This experience was by far the best experience I had during my studies as a student and entrepreneur.

CovEvent

CovEvent is a carpooling platform for events. I started the project at the end of my master with Jean Benoit Henry. We wanted to easily manage carpooling when going to parties. We discovered that there was no “Doodle for Carpooling” and so we developed it.

We created a first MVP and the started to sell it to customers. We followed the Lean methodology from day one, which allowed us to rapidly gather feedbacks and customers.

Today the platform is used by major festivals in Belgium (Pukkelpop, Dour Festival, Les Ardentes), but also by big corporates and smaller events such as weddings.

We continue to develop the project in our spare time as I’m now involved in Seety and Jean Benoit in Tooddoc. Feel free to create your event on CovEvent.

Seety (ex cPark)

Seety is a mobile app that allows you to find cheaper parking spots in cities. We started in Brussels in 2018 and rapidly reached 50.000 users. Our community helps to maintain the maps and to know the risk of being controlled by reporting control agents and changes in the parking regulation.

The app displays the parking conditions (do you have to pay, when can you park,…). Those info can be used to find the cheaper parking spot but also to decide where to park without having to round in the city. Our ambition is to become the ultimate assistant for parking in cities. Helping you from your parking planning to the final payment in the street.

Seety is now available in Belgium and France in more than 150 cities. Our user base continued growing and we reached around 250 000 active users in 2020.

As the CTO of Seety, I developed the MVP and the app. The technology we use is React Native with a Node JS backend. My work is mainly management now as the dev team grew to 4 full-time developers.

Seety is completely free so give it a try: seety.co!

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Nicolas Cognaux (Gp2mv3) - Tech entrepreneur & engineer

About Nicolas Cognaux

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