Who are we?
COGOFLY was founded by Mr. Franck Lagathu, born on 21 June 1973 in Marseille, France.
Commercial Support Manager at Airbus Helicopters, and former Sales Manager in the Estate Agents sector, the launch of this new site marks the start, in parallel, of a new and passionate adventure. Whilst I have a great team supporting me, as the main player it is important to talk about my own diverse experiences in order to explain how the idea of launching such a concept came about.
The first page written, or rather "scribbled", during the summer of 2006 highlighted the need for a concept which would later become part of the COGOFLY adventure. It was indeed the result of a simple observation: There are far too many people who travel alone!
At the time, with this worldwide phenomenon in mind, my site was leaning towards a name that I would later deem to be overly "pessimistic": Never Alone!
The fact that I was based in Munich for 4 years, along with other commitments, meant that I had to put the project on the backburner for a while. However I NEVER forgot about it...in fact quite the contrary! I was constantly writing down different ideas and closely following the global market. It was clear to me that the entire world was concerned and I felt I had to do something to address this universal issue.
Always there for my family and friends, this desire to always help people out encouraged me to launch a website which could respond to this requirement in every way. The testimonies that can be found on this site only serve to reinforce this temperament which is fully recognized and appreciated by my entourage; a temperament which, quite naturally, resulted in a connection between this site and my destiny.
Back from Germany in 2010, after a multitude of fruitful and enriching encounters, I was able to restart work on my ideas which had by now reached a dozen pages. The 5 years following my return home only served to strengthen the courage of my convictions, and several useful pages were added in order to further the project and work towards something more concrete.
2015 has been a crucial year in that I have had the chance to meet a number of people within the sector, along with web service providers, and have thus learned a great deal from being in their presence. These contacts, located via a list given to me by Marseille’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), through their respective remarks and feedback regarding my concept, have only served to strengthen my desire to proceed with the launch of this new social network on an international scale.
The support of this institution helped me to realize that a number of additional skills were required, such as legal, financial and HR-related aspects...as is the case for any newfound company. Thanks to them, I was able to obtain all of the contacts required in order to set me on the right path...
All of these encounters resulted in me finding another name, more internationally orientated, which expressed the idea of taking off...Take Off Mate (TOM) was therefore brought to the table. At this point I have to say a big thank you to several of my work colleagues who took the time to motivate me and give me their opinions in order to ratify each key step of my project.
It was with this name that I was able to present it to the Masters students at the University of Aix-Marseille at Luminy, more precisely to the Junior Aix-Marseille company (JAM), presided by Mr Florian DOUAY who, with the support of two other contributors, came up with a 43-page technical specification. It was therefore only normal to choose this establishment, and the choice was made even more quickly due to the fact that the students’ were instantly motivated, willing and full of ideas; fully in line with the ethics of this site.
As I turned the pages of the technical specification, it seemed to suit me more and more, and I felt the need to make the adequate changes in order to add the finishing touches. The changes carried out helped to form the foundations of this site.
Once the new 50-page version approved, my attention then turned towards HQF Development, and its representative Sir Olivier PONS, who convinced me to finally take the plunge with this international-scale project. His reactivity, honest approach throughout our different exchanges, passion and a general feel-good factor that I got from him, led quite naturally to the signing of a development contract on 5 October 2015.
As indicated in the "About COGOFLY" section, COGOFLY was therefore created one week before the signing of the said contract, and the brand was then deployed on a global scale.
My goal is to make this new social network the reference in terms of co-trips: "The LinkedIn/Facebook" of the Tourism industry. This new community will then have access to a reliable and intuitive site, and be able to meet up in total confidence and share common projects and goals.
The conclusion of all this, and this adage came to me quite naturally, is that: