April 11th, 2013   /   Posted by Natalie Nathanson   /   Category: All, Startup Spotlight Interviews   /   Topics: , ,

Startup Spotlight: Disaster Preparedness Application - An Interview with Cobar Systems

Magnetude Consulting gives you a closer look into the startup community.  We interview tech startups and other entrepreneurial leaders to bring you their stories, as well as insights into marketing techniques that have helped them along the way.

Today’s interview is with the one of the founders of Cobar Systems, Johann Barlach. Cobar Systems provides an application that enables organizations to establish and quantify disaster preparedness through testing.

How did the idea originate for this startup?

The idea to develop software for the business continuity space derived from my work experience as an intern at the business continuity department of a large financial institution in Boston.  When I talk about business continuity, I define it as the ability of organizations to continue their operations despite a business disruption, and it is essential for any large organization.  Through my work I realized there was a huge demand for new solutions, especially in the area of business continuity testing.  Not only are a lot of the available product offerings outdated, but the industry is rapidly growing and in need of new software solutions to meet increased demands.

In September of 2011 I pitched my idea to a friend, Casey Flynn, as we both had entrepreneurial aspirations, and we started planning what eventually became Cobar Systems.  After another couple of weeks of market research and product mapping our product Themis was born.

What have been some of the resources you’ve found most useful in getting your startup to its current stage?

In addition to applying to MassChallenge this year, Northeastern University’s IDEA incubator has been invaluable at providing resources that have helped us grow our idea into a product.  IDEA connected us with workshops, coaches and mentors, whom gave us feedback and helped us improve our business model.  Through IDEA we received $4,000 in gap funding that allowed us improve the User Interface of the Themis prototype.

How do you describe the value Cobar plans to provide to customers? 

Cobar Systems’ Themis is an application that enables organizations to establish and quantify disaster preparedness through testing.  It provides automation and structure to management efforts involved in corporate business continuity testing, ultimately saving time and increasing employee’s engagement in business continuity.

How do you define marketing, and how important is it to your startup’s success and why?

To us marketing is the thread that ties product, promotion and sales together into a consistent and coherent strategy.  Marketing will be responsible for positioning and differentiating Cobar Systems in the market and really help us stand out from our competitors.

What are your startup’s next milestones?

We are excited to be working towards the official launch of Themis sometime this summer! Once we launch, we plan to focus much of our energy on attracting potential customers and positioning our application as a premier test management system.

What is the one thing you wish your target customers knew about your startup?

Cobar Systems is dedicated to help organizations improve their disaster preparedness. Our application, Themis, will save customers time, improve testing efforts and increase awareness of business continuity among their employees.


If you’re interested in being interviewed for the Magnetude Startup Spotlight or you would like to learn more about our marketing services for startups, please contact us today!

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