Developing a successful future
2017 KSU graduate co-founds software company
KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug 3, 2017) — When Sven Cowart crossed the stage at Kennesaw State University’s summer Commencement, his professional career already was well on its way. In fact, the enterprising Cowart is thriving in a job he created.
Cowart, who graduated with a degree in applied computer science, co-founded the software company Traxion during his junior year at Kennesaw State. Cowart serves as the head of design and engineering for Traxion, a software platform that helps companies running the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to work more effectively.
“In my sophomore year of college, when I started really getting into developing software, I set a goal that I wanted to have my own business by the time I graduated. I achieved that goal,” Cowart said. “I look at it as crossing the finish line, achieving my goal and taking a step for more to come in the future.
Traxion began as a partnership between Cowart and Benj Miller, an entrepreneur who gave Cowart his first software developer job two years ago. They added a third partner, Eban Bisong — an information technology major at KSU and Cowart’s roommate — and launched Traxion in January 2016.
In the short time since then, their software startup has grown faster than they anticipated. The co-founders teamed a year ago with two business coaches who specialize in EOS, and the company now boasts a staff of 12 people serving approximately 100 clients who utilize Traxion’s cloud-based EOS tools, according to Cowart.
“Our vision in the beginning was to keep a very small team and just build very niche software that serves a very niche audience, but the vision grew a lot bigger,” Cowart said. “The bigger vision is really about helping people build businesses, and, in turn, we’re helping them improve their lives.”
Cowart gives Kennesaw State a great deal of credit for where he is today. His first software developer job resulted from posting his resume on a job board through the KSU Department of Career Planning and Development. Also, Traxion has been supported by IgniteHQ, a business incubator and accelerator that works in partnership with Kennesaw State and in collaboration with the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.
“Attending Kennesaw State was a great experience, and it connected me with a lot of people with whom I formed invaluable relationships,” Cowart said. “In computing and engineering, there is a sense at KSU of a lot of people wanting to build and create. I love that people come out of those programs who have knowledge about what actually to do in the real world.”
Cowart has a number of interests outside of computer programming, including social science, physics, astronomy and religion. He plans to earn a master’s degree, likely related to artificial intelligence or machine learning, or possibly computer engineering with a heavy emphasis on mathematics.
For now, though, Cowart is putting all his energy into continuing to grow the company he helped create. He stated that the goal for Traxion is “to grow very rapidly within the next one to two years.”
“It’s hard work, but I enjoy it,” Cowart said. “I love writing code, I love solving problems and I love creating products, and that’s what I get to do every day. I think there is enjoyment out of hard work.”
— Paul Floeckher
Photos by David Caselli
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.