FAQs

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This year, the Pitch is open to global entrants, provided they have not raised a Series A financing round, or annual revenue of $250,000 (CAD). We strongly encourage startups from around the world to participate, but for the five finalists, they will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation for the May 1st event.

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Submissions should be in deck format and include the following information:

  • Problem/Opportunity
  • Value Proposition
  • Business Model
  • Secret Sauce
  • Competitive Landscape
  • Management Team
  • Financial Projections and Key Metrics
  • Current Status and What You are Looking For

The presentation can include video clips, however do not include product demo videos. 

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All submissions to The Pitch need to relate directly to legal technology innovation.

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For the purposes of the Pitch: legal technology refers to companies offering tech-enabled services and products in the service of the legal industry.

This may include:

Lawyer to Lawyer: Making a current process more efficient for lawyers in-house or law firms as the end users.

Lawyer to Business: Creating a new delivery model for existing work completed by lawyers in-house or law firms as the end users.

Lawyer to Consumer: Servicing as the direct supplier of a service, instead of traditional providers, to the client market.

Offerings should be digitally enabling and may support processes or executed core legal tasks focusing on substantive law. 

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This multi-step process, which starts with a call for submissions, will culminate in five early-stage legal technology start-ups invited to the Pitch competition on May 1 in Toronto, Canada. The Pitch will cap off the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association National Conference and the In-House Counsel Worldwide Summit.

The five selected start-ups will get seven minutes to sell a panel of judges on their innovative ideas in front of a live audience, with an additional five minutes for questions from our panel of judges. 

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The qualifying submissions will be reviewed by a panel of virtual judges using a matrix to calculate the overall scores.  The startups with the five highest scores will move on to the Pitch on May 1st. No information will be provided to the applicants in respect of their score other than whether they have been selected for the final five.  Submissions will be graded on a variety of requirements, which include:  

  • Problem and solution identification
  • Competitive landscape analysis
  • Industry needs analysis
  • Business viability
  • Strength of team/advisors/investors
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The judges are a cross section of investors, legal industry veterans, executives, journalists and entrepreneurs with interest in or connected with the legal services industry. They were selected by the CBA and Law Made. In some instances, they have pre-existing relationships with the CBA, Law Made and LexisNexis - however - the initial applications leading up to the selection of the final five Pitch contestants are not evaluated by the CBA, Law Made or LexisNexis other than to determine that the initial application criteria are met.  

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Ideas can be submitted by emailing the presentation to: pitch@cba.org. You will receive a confirmation message once the email has been received by CBA staff. 

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Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm ET on February 23rd.  Any submissions received after that time will not be considered. 

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The winning startup will get have the opportunity to pitch to a Nextlaw Ventures Managing Director, and the potential opportunity to demo their offerings to selected NLV subject matter experts for valuable input. They will also receive up to $120K of free IBM Cloud and Watson Cognitive Computing services and more. View full prize details.

Stay tuned as we continue to add more exciting prizes in coming months!

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As long as the startup meets the eligibility requirements at the time of the application deadline, and advances to the top 5, they can present at the in person event. 

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Given deep industry ties and ongoing support of innovation in the legal industry, it is possible that startup entrants for the Pitch have existing relationships with Law Made, the CBA and/or LexisNexis. However, any company is eligible to apply for the Pitch — except for those that have a signed contract that provides direct pecuniary interest in the form of revenue to any of Law Made, the CBA or LexisNexis or conversely if the startup has already received direct financial support from those parties.

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Should the startup advance to the top 5, only one of the Founders of the startup can perform the in-person presentation.

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It is the responsibility of the Startups to get to Toronto for the May 1st event.