- E-learning legal education platform wins prize worth up to $550,000 at legal tech-focused pitch night.
- Expert judging panel from Australia's legal technology and startup ecosystems chose winner and runners-up.
Hosted virtually on the evening of Tuesday 26 October, the 2023 Legal Tech Pitch Night was delivered by the LawTech Hub by Lander & Rogers—the first program of its kind in Australia that brings together lawyers and entrepreneurs to design and build transformative legal technology—in collaboration with venture capital firm, AirTree; the country's premier community for information sharing, collaboration and building the presence of Australian legal technology on the global stage, the Australian Legal Technology Association (ALTA); and well-known Australian data integration platform, Syncly.
Applications to pitch were received from around the world and ultimately 10 startups were selected to present their solutions in a fast-paced 90-second initial round to persuade the judges to advance them to round two.
The 10 selected startups came from across Australia, the US, the UK, and Bangladesh: Amplified Global, Ask Lexi, DDLoop, Deeligence, Gavel, Halisok, Legalized Education, Mary Legal, Oddr, and Pathways Digital.
Three finalists progressed to round two and had three minutes to dive deeper into their legal tech solutions. Round two was followed by challenging questions from the judging panel, made up of Michelle Bey, chief innovation officer and transformation lead at Lander & Rogers; Karen Finch, president of ALTA; and Stewart Rasmussen, co-founder and CEO of Syncly and an alumnus of the LawTech Hub.
Dhaka-based e-learning legal education platform Legalized Education won first prize. Focused on embracing new technologies, co-founder and CEO, Tasnuva Shelley is providing subscription-based legal solutions for entities, law-related courses for enthusiasts, and online learning tools for legal professionals.
Ms Shelley, upon winning, said, "Thank you so much; this means the whole world. You have actually changed the entire legal tech landscape for this country [Bangladesh]. Now, when I walk in a room and show this [2023 Legal Tech Pitch Night win], they are going to pay attention to me."
2023 judge Stewart Rasmussen, founder and CEO of Syncly, was moved to tears after Ms Shelley's wining speech.
Mr Rasmussen said: "Tasnuva Shelley captured everything it takes to be a success in business and in life—passion, compassion, purpose, knowledge, drive and humility. When she won, her smile made me cry, I could see how much this meant to her."
Michelle Bey, chief innovation officer and transformation lead at Lander & Rogers, said: " As a judge for this year's Legal Tech Pitch Night, crowning Legalized Education as the winner was certainly the year's highlight! Tasnuva's passion, unwavering dedication, profound sense of mission, and depth of understanding in what it takes to galvanise an entire country's legal education system were incredibly moving. I have no doubt that she has a remarkable journey ahead and we—Lander & Rogers—hope to be there to support it."
Karen Finch, president of ALTA, added: "I was really blown away by the calibre and high standard of all the pitchers and their incredible technology solutions and services. It was so wonderful to hear from pitchers located all around the globe, and Tasnuva Shelley from Legalised Education was such a deserving winner. I really recommend everyone check out and support Tasnuva and her team and what they are achieving in Bangladesh."
The first-place prize grants Legalized Education access to all benefits that the current LawTech Hub residents and alumni have access to, which is over AU$550,000 of business and technical support from the LawTech Hub and its world-class partners.
Runners-up and People's Choice
Los Angeles-based Gavel, represented by founder and CEO, Dorna Moini, was named first runner-up. Gavel, a legal automation platform with infinite workflow possibilities, enables users to generate accurate, customised, and perfectly formatted documents with the hopes of reclaiming 20-plus hours per week.
Straddling Melbourne and Sydney, Mary Legal, represented by co-founder and COO, Rowan McNamee, was named the evening's second runner-up. Mary Legal leverages artificial intelligence to listen to client consultations, accurately transcribe, and generate comprehensive first drafts of legal documents.
Named after Mr McNamee's aunt and family law barrister, Mary, he said of his aunt and startup's namesake: "She is known for her ruthless efficiency. The way I view it, every law firm needs a Mary, so I'm bringing Mary to every law firm that I can."
Melbourne-based Deeligence, represented by co-founder and COO, Elena Tsalanidis won the evening's People's Choice Award, which was voted on by the 2023 Legal Tech Pitch Night audience. Deeligence is a secure, collaborative due diligence workspace converting manual processes into a more efficient and profitable way to get deals done.
Emceed by Courtney Blackman, head of partnerships at Lander & Rogers and director of the LawTech Hub, the 2023 Legal Tech Pitch Night was attended by an international audience of startups and scaleups, VCs, angel investors, law firms, government, and peak legal industry bodies.