How we started

Our company was founded in 2018 with a vision to disrupt the commercial real estate industry by creating a platform to combine human experiences with building systems, the two major factors to building operations.

Four years ago, Cohesion’s journey began serendipitously at a breakfast meeting between CEO, Thru Shivakumar and Raj Gupta, the Executive Chairman of ESD. They started talking about a technology ESD was envisioning in a building, a system that bridged the gap between tenant-facing applications and legacy operational systems that would allow the building to be flexible and responsive to tenants’ needs and have quantifiable and holistic data to guide environmental optimization. Six months after that breakfast, a deal was struck to spin the technology out of a mechanical engineering company and in August 2018, Cohesion was born.

Cohesion has risen to meet the challenges facing CRE as a startup but the work is more valuable now than ever. Macro factors such as continued hybrid work, increased focus on building health, need to reduce carbon emissions, and a declining CRE workforce are driving the desperate need for technology adoption in buildings.

Members of the Cohesion team speaking at Builtworlds


We are on a mission to accelerate resiliency and transparency in the built world by intelligently unifying humans, resources, and systems.

Striving for Excellence

As a fast-growing startup, we ensure our team stays true to the following core values to provide a satisfying and genuine experience for our customers and teammates. Our six core values are more than just words on a wall, they are a compass that guides our culture and productivity to ensure success on all levels – as individuals and as a team. These values were carefully chosen and are reinforced to ensure a thriving workplace environment.


We always do what is right and with the highest ethical standards. We acknowledge and embrace diversity of all forms within our company and strive to include others. In doing so, our customers, employees, investors, and shareholders will benefit.

Meaningful Interactions

We add value through our products and services by building meaningful connections inside the built environment to ensure true interoperability. We do not believe in wasted time, meaningless work, or siloed efforts.


We examine problems from all angles to create comprehensive solutions. We address the current and future needs of our customers and society. We strive to optimize the ecosystem.


We take ownership and accountability for our work. We demonstrate flexibility and go above and beyond our individual duties for the greater good of the business and our customers.

Continuous Improvement

We are ambitious, always on a journey to build our expertise and enhance the solutions we provide. We collaborate with customers and partners to always deliver the utmost quality in our products and services.

Action Bias

We stand up and take action. We encourage everyone to think critically and raise their voices to overcome obstacles and deliver the best possible outcomes for our employees, customers, partners, and shareholders.

We are committed to

Building and nurturing an inclusive workforce spanning across all team members within the company

​Ensuring an equitable recruiting process, committing to equal pay, investing in professional growth opportunities and sourcing a diverse candidate network ​

​Fostering a community of belonging where our employees feel valued, respected and engaged

Cohesion is recognized for innovative solutions and advanced technology.

Connected Real Estate Winner badge, 2022
2021 Maverick Awards Winner
Realcomm Digie Awards 2019
Boma Chicago Member Badge


We are a team of problem solvers, innovative thinkers, and those who aspire to make a difference in the commercial real estate industry.

Cohesion Ceo Thru Shivakuma smiles for a photo.

Thru Shivakumar

Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer

Thru Shivakumar is responsible for leading Cohesion’s alignment and execution of its strategic vision, as well as delivering shareholder value. She has more than 15 years’ of experience in private, public, and civic sectors of the economy holding positions across finance, business strategy, M&A, entrepreneurship and business development. ​ Thru is the founding board member of Current, a water technology accelerator focused on advanced research and market-driven innovations. With an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in Finance from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Thru is recognized for various accomplishments, including listed in Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 list.

CTO Nik Patel Smiling at the camera.

Nik Patel

Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer

A technologist with an entrepreneurial mindset, Nik leads our engineering and delivery teams to develop a smart building platform. He continues to work on numerous technology stacks, database systems, and IT infrastructure to create scalable, resilient, and adaptable software systems. Nik has co-authored three patents at cohesion, including contextual data structure and analytics at Edge. ​ Before co-founding Cohesion, Nik served on the engineering teams of Frontline Education, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., and Sprint. ​ Nik holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Gujarat Technological University and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Springfield. He strongly believes in “paying it forward.” He is actively learning about different cultures, studying software engineering ethics, and promoting diversity in the technology industry.

Kurt Emshousen Portrait

Kurt Emshousen

SVP of Finance and Operations​

Kurt has 20+ years of strategic business and finance experience across multiple industries. ​ ​He honed his management skills at KPMG, where he advised Fortune 100 financial services and global manufacturing firms on change management and operational effectiveness. He joined Cassidy Turley in 2011, eventually overseeing client accounting, leading the implementation of the company’s ERP and CRM technology, and assuming the roles of chief administrative officer in 2012 and chief human resources officer in 2014. ​ ​ He later joined Transwestern as chief administrative officer, overseeing all administrative business activities, including technology, accounting, and human resources, as well as led the implementation of processes and policies across the national platform.​ ​ Shepherding a company through unchartered territory has been the trademark of his career, his passion and some of his biggest accomplishments.​

Chad Flores

VP of Product

With more than a decade at various industries, such as IoT, data science, telematics & construction logistics, insurance tech, and education, Chad leads our product team to manage features and data. Most recently, he was a Senior Product Manager at Hyla Mobile (acquired by Assurant) launching both a B2B and B2C product, and Uptake where he worked with real-time data to deliver predictive maintenance products. As an experienced entrepreneur, Chad is passionate about building new solutions to deliver and delight customers based on user feedback, analytics-based strategic development, and market research. ​ Deeply committed to environmental sustainability, Chad serves on Plant Chicago’s Board of Directors in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Chad studied Product Strategy at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, holds an MS in Public Service Management from DePaul University School of Public Service and a BS Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University. ​

Taylor Marsh

VP of Sales

Taylor Marsh has broad experience leading successful sales teams that provide consultative solutions to corporations and institutions of all sizes. He has acted as an account manager helping middle market companies consolidate and standardize their business travel programs. As a leader, Taylor has executed sales & revenue plans to reposition under-performing assets and enabled high performing teams to reach their full potential. For 14 years, Taylor has worked to be a consistent advocate for the customer with the businesses that he has supported.

Leaha Pearman Portrait

Leaha Pearman

VP of Sales

Leaha has spent the last 10 years serving the CRE industry in various sales roles. From complex, broad IWMS beginnings, to deeply rooted point solutions, Leaha has worked for several companies, including Fortive (Accruent), MRI, Planon, and most recently, HubStar Software, Inc. Leaha has been in sales roles wherein she honed her skills with precision; while also leveraging existing accounts for cross- and upsell opportunities. Leaha is passionate about educating prospects and clients almost as much as winning deals.. She is driven by a desire for creating impact and change and truly loves the simplifying the complex sales process. ​ ​ Leaha is a highly respected Account Executive and Technology Partner who has an innate ability to represent her business' interests without losing sight of customer satisfaction. It is her ability to continually seek ways to provide more innovative execution and delivery that reveals her vast acumen, and Leaha is able to do so with a humor and grace that is top-shelf.​ ​ Before switching to a sales career, Leaha was a deeply devoted educator for high school juniors, specializing in American Literature. She also earned a Master of Arts in Literature and a Master of Arts in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Akron. ​ ​

Dan Dal Degan

Board Member | Operating Executive at Marlin Equity Partners

Raj Gupta

Board Member | Executive Chairman of ESD

Steven Koch

Board Member

Kok Kua Ng

Board Member | Sr. VP, Group Investment, Frasers Property Limited

Ready to be a part of the team?

Don't see a role that's a fit?

Email us your resume at [email protected]

Join us on social media