Renamed Cogo Labs boosts Cambridge startup scene

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Tech incubator Adverplex has a new identity — Cogo Labs — and is starting to talk it up.

The 30-person shop, based in VC-friendly Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass., has backed such plays as CourseAdvisor, Autotegrity and AdHarmonics — all of which focus on web-based analytics. The Washington Post bought CourseAdvisor, which uses analytics to help colleges generate online leads, for an undisclosed amount in 2007.

With its new name in place, the company is also hiring software engineers and data warehouse designers.

Kevin Fanning, Cogo Labs’ talent development developer, told The Boston Business Journal that the company is more interested in substance than flash. “There’s sexy and there’s making money. We build companies that make money,” he said.

Cogo was founded by David Blundin, who is also chairman of chairman of Vestmark, a maker of investment management technology. He was previously CTO at Vignette Corp. (s vgn).

The Boston-Cambridge metro area may not be Silicon Valley, but there is significant VC action. PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association estimate that the area saw $2.46 billion in VC investment in 2011 compared to $8.4 billion for Silicon Valley.

The riverside area is home to a healthy set of biotech and healthcare IT startups fostered by MIT, Harvard University and area hospitals. In addition, industry heavyweights Google (s goog), Microsoft (s msft) and IBM (s ibm)  all have facilities in the area.The Boston-Cambridge nexus also seems to foster a lot of companies that end up being owned by outside tech powers. Just in the past few months Oracle (s orcl) snapped up Endeca, another Kendall Square company, and IBM snagged Emptoris based in nearby Burlington, Mass.

In fact, IBM has bought at last count 20 local companies since acquiring Lotus Development Corp in 2003. So the neighborhood may not be as big a hotbed of VC-funded startups as Palo Alto and Sunnyvale, but it has enough action to draw bigger tech companies with shopping lists and money to spend.

Feature photo courtesy of  Flickr user Rich Moffitt.

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Lauren Pespisa

This company is actually called “Cogo Labs”. The article headline has a typo.

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