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James Hodson Joins Cognism as Full-Time Chief Science Officer


Cognism, the prospecting and lead generation software for the B2B sector, is delighted to announce that James Hodson joined the company as its full-time Chief Science Officer on 20th September 2019.

James Hodson is one of the world’s leading researchers and entrepreneurs in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. In addition to his duties at Cognism, James serves as Senior Researcher at the Artificial Intelligence Department of the Jozef Stefan Institute in Slovenia, and as the CEO of the AI for Good Foundation, a UN-backed platform that promotes the beneficial use of AI in business and society.

Prior to joining Cognism, James built and directed the AI Research group at Bloomberg LP in New York, leading a team of more than 20 in a rich cross-disciplinary research agenda. James was also a researcher at the German National Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and holds several patents across Machine Translation and Network Inference.

James’s association with Cognism dates back to 2014, when he first met the company’s founder and CEO, James Isilay, after giving a lecture on Natural Language Processing at ETH Zurich. After Cognism was incorporated in January 2015, James Hodson joined the company in an advisory capacity. His focus at that time was in helping to build out a library of AI and machine learning capabilities to power the Cognism platform.

Recognising the potential of Cognism, James was also an angel investor in the company’s seed round. In 2017, he assisted James Isilay in raising funds and pitching Cognism to a number of venture capital firms.

As Cognism’s scientific advisor, James Hodson acted as a mentor to its data science and engineering teams, providing invaluable training, support and advice. Thanks to James’s guidance, Cognism developed a broad set of impressive AI capabilities, aimed at making B2B data more accurate and actionable. It’s widely recognised that CRM data is often filled with errors and of poor quality; the Cognism platform focuses on filling in the gaps in B2B data, identifying when data goes out of date and correcting mistakes wherever they are found.

James Hodson’s greatest success at Cognism to date was the filing of the company’s first patent, which was granted in December 2018. The patent, referred to as the Revenue AI engine, was designed to disambiguate and enrich datasets in a CRM environment. The purpose of this was to improve the interrelation between the company profiles and the individual profiles that exist inside a CRM.

James Hodson has officially joined Cognism at the perfect juncture in the company’s journey. 2019 has been the year when Cognism has passed several significant milestones:

  • In early 2019, the company underwent a complete brand refresh, including a full redesign of its website, logo, graphics and content assets.
  • In July 2019, Cognism raised $10 million in Series B funding, in partnership with PeakSpan Capital.
  • In August 2019, Cognism made a firm commitment to data security and compliance by securing ISO 27001 accreditation.
  • Latterly, the company has added 20 million direct dials for Europe and North America to its data asset, cementing its place as a leading provider of B2B people, company and event data.

James’s responsibilities as a permanent member of the Cognism team include heading up the data science and engineering divisions, as well as expanding the company’s AI and machine learning product portfolio. There are several Cognism patents pending, based around the structures of companies and the analytics of outbound email campaigns.

James Hodson says:

“I’m honoured to join Cognism as its full-time Chief Science Officer. Having been involved with the company from the very beginning, I’m amazed by how far it’s come. Its growth has been nothing short of astounding. I believe there is tremendous potential for the business to go even further. I’m excited to carry on our work in helping our B2B customers solve their data enrichment challenges and transform the accuracy of their sales and marketing activity. I’m working with one of the best data science teams in the B2B industry, who have already contributed so much to the success of Cognism.”

James Isilay adds:

“James Hodson has been a constant source of advice and support throughout Cognism’s growth journey. I’m delighted that he has joined the company on a permanent basis – and very excited to see where he takes our product portfolio. James’s innovations will provide our B2B clients with everything they need to find and deliver new revenue, faster – helping them to secure competitive market advantage and profitable business growth.”


During Nathan’s early career, he gained considerable experience from across many industries including Sales, Teaching and Retail, however more recently Nathan has delved into the world Digital Marketing and Publishing. Drawing on his past experiences, Nathan brings all aspects of his knowledge into Recruitment Buzz, possessing great research and social media skills.

Born and bred in Wales, Nathan is as Welsh as they come – living in the heart of the Valleys, Nathan proudly takes place as our resident Welsh speaker. However, Nathan’s knowledge of global understanding exceeds the Welsh borders, having lived in London, parts of the US and Ecuador.

Nathan is a self-proclaimed geek, having gained a degree in Natural Science via the Open University in Wales. In addition to his passion for science, he has a love for technology, nature, art and of course football!


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