Mishcon de Reya's Demo Day showcased the work of the six start-ups that had been selected as part of MDR LAB: the firm's programme for tech start-ups in the legal space.
These start-ups have spent the past 10 weeks in Mishcon's offices developing, defining and testing their products and services. Following Pitch Day in April, they were selected from a shortlist of 19 start-ups on the basis of their innovative approach to tackling challenges in the world of lawyering. Demo Day was their chance to show what they have achieved.
Mishcon de Reya's Chief Strategy Officer and Director of MDR LAB Nick West kicked off by welcoming Mishcon-ites, the start-ups; their internal and external mentors; investors; and journalists to the event, commending the calibre of the business concepts: 'I'm in awe of what the start-ups have achieved. And they've been awesomely good fun to work with.' He also applauded the firm's engagement with the programme, with a special shout out to the 12 Mishcon mentors who have been heavily involved throughout.
Before hearing from the start-ups, we welcomed founder of online shopping aid Metail, Business Shaper and friend of the firm, Tom Adeyoola, to talk about his experience of launching his business which 'makes clothing fit for all'. Having just received his second round of funding, he has walked in the same shoes as MDR LABs start-ups, but is now a little further along the road. It is only at this point, he says, that he is earning more than he did before he started the business – but it has taken three years longer than he imagined to get here. Adeyoola's biggest learnings to date include understanding the value intellectual property and the need to protect it; understanding that you can't just throw manpower at problems; that you need to deliver and demonstrate significant value in order to drive actual change in customer behaviour; and that having a global outlook can be key.
After hearing from Tom, it was time for the start-ups' presentations and demonstrations, where we heard from: Everchron, developer of collaborative litigation management software which puts case critical information and analysis at lawyers' fingertips; Orbital Witness, which delivers actionable insights from satellite imagery for use by real estate lawyers; Ping, which automates timekeeping for lawyers and provides data analysis for law firms; SaltDNA, which provides a fully enterprise-managed software solution that enables absolute privacy in mobile communications; Surukam, which provides artificial intelligence powered solutions for the automation of contract management; and Synergist, which provides a secure cloud service to automate the negotiation of contract terms, allowing customers to draft, negotiate and sign contracts without redlines or email.
Through MDR LAB, these start ups have noticeably developed their products through feedback from the lawyers that have used them. This was not simply about providing an office space, but making Mishcon a home for the start ups and embedding them in the business. They received input through numerous trials, demonstrations, tests and feedback sessions. In turn, Mishcon de Reya has had access to technology which is enabling radical improvements in this space with one common goal: to free up lawyers' time so they can spend more of it on adding value for clients. MDR LAB has not only allowed Mishcon de Reya to trial these new brand new products, it's allowed the firm to do it first - to drive the development of the future disruptors.
Find out more about MDR LAB here.