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Why I left my job? To power world peace

Why I left my job? To power world peace 1650 873 Raymond Blijd
Read time: 2 min.

If I could ever offer a small contribution to world peace, then this data-driven approach may be my best chance yet.

Sentry Syria is an early warning system for air strikes based on crowdsourced intelligence. It is one of the 170 CivicTech examples harvested in the Legalpioneer dataset. Bark, another company in this category, is battling cyberbullying and also registered as one of the best-funded CivicTech ventures of 2018. Finally, Google pledged about $300 million to fight fake news. But considering its revenue of $31 billion, it hardly seems enough compared to the damage misinformation can inflict on its customers.

Conflicts usually start with a misunderstanding or miscommunication. Nowadays our communication channels aren’t private but ruled by commercial interests. Channels that tyrants can purchase to bully citizens and eliminate dissent. If we could avoid being misled and expose bullying at any level, maybe we wouldn’t need air strike warning apps.

While the above CivicTech enterprises offer us a graphic example, LegalTech and RiskTech usually camouflage their impact on a fair society. They’re technologies that infuse the law across industries and help them to distinguish right from wrong. They ensure legal principles are embedded into operating systems. Principles like privacy by design or decentralizing authority aren’t just efficient, they are essential human rights. If we don’t implement them we’ll end up confused and at war with each other when using any service.

We now have more data and facts at our disposal than at any time in human history. We have better communication channels and more computing power than any generation before us. Maybe we just need a smarter way to find the best ideas and concepts that help keep us safe. With an analytical approach to constructing a startup idea, maybe we can insert more civility across services we use daily. I sincerely believe a world, not at war is a good long term investment. And we can incentivize those who pioneer peace in their respective areas.

We started looking for pioneers in 2016 and collecting data. Now we have gathered enough to start building a tool to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs that aim to build an ethical aware enterprise.

What if we had a way to craft and then test unique business ideas. What if you could benchmark your concept against a dataset of over 7000 startups. Find similar ventures based on market, location, and technology. By matching existing companies, to your own startup, you can calculate costs and estimate the investment needed. Imagine a tool to assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitors based on mentions and traffic. Finally, an app where you can shop for pricing, terms, use cases, business models and customers on comparable companies. Wouldn’t it be magical if it helps you craft a pitch, generate a business plan and slide deck in just 3 clicks?

Thanks to Nathalie Dijkman, the new incubator at the Amsterdam Law Hub from the University of Amsterdam will be one of the first to pilot this platform. It may hopefully inspire fresh minds to strategize their ideas, estimate their value and tweak until it is unique. By providing a statistical basis we can empower pioneers to contribute to the impossible: world peace.

Why now? Our numbers show that legal startups have been declining for a second year in a row. Moreover, funding of legal ventures is skewed towards mature later stage companies that only tend to serve traditional models.

After realizing the potential impact and the work that lay ahead, I couldn’t treat this as a side project any longer. This cause matters so it deserves to be a mission with a full-time dedication. I’m one startup willing to help more start up and keep the peace.

Will you join me?

The Summer of 2016: The Hottest on Record for Legal Startups

The Summer of 2016: The Hottest on Record for Legal Startups 2540 1316 Raymond Blijd

Read time: 2 min.

Last update: March 17, 2017

You may have missed it but June 2016 broke the single month record set this February with 44 legal startups registering on AngelList. Wait, there is more…

**Update Sep, 2:  Psst, in August we broke 56 **

Last year, I was curious to know how many legal ventures were seeking fame and fortune from the angels. In December, I wanted to know what types of legal operations would deliver us from hell. This June, I still noticed quite a few law firms masquerading but I’m expecting more startups to be aiming for the heavens. So I was pleasantly surprised by the June numbers. More so seeing May and June are historically not known for its highs.

[chart id=”712″]

June 2016 did not only break the record but we may have reached a tipping point: It can very well be the first time more startups registered from outside the US on AngelList.

[chart id=”3200″]

Where do Legal Startups come from?

I first suspected Canada but a closer look revealed India making quite a surge. However, if we break it down in continents, the western hemisphere, specifically the Americas, still outweighs the rest…with a little help from South America.

[chart id=”3207″]

Where to track more Legal Startups?

Recently, there has also been a flurry of legal startup trackers. Here’s a list of communities and enthusiast chasing startups:

I’m a member of the Legalpioneer community and since I couldn’t find similar listings, I created the last 2 Charts and Hunt lists. In doing so I realized that it’s particularly challenging to tag and categorize legal startups. Stanford and ‘Legal Tech – Mapping Disruption’ both have about 8 categories but differ on topics e.g. only eDiscovery, Research and Practice Management appear in both. In 2013, a Quora member listed 11 submarkets in the legal space but this was before the AI and Machine Learning era. Same goes for tagging: Stanford has 237 tags and Lawhackers around 69 after de-duplication. In short, we are in the midst of figuring out the Fog of Apps and after the dust has settled, we’ll know who solved the real pains.

Meanwhile, it’s great to see that we’re back on track in making this a summer to remember.

 

**Update Mar, 17 ’17: Fixed Australia tracker **

**Update Feb, 13 ’17: Germany and Australia tracker **

**Update Dec, 20: Robert J. Ambrogi**

**Updated Dec, 7: Y-combinator**

**Updated Aug, 5: Added Spain tracker**

**Updated Jul, 18: Canada  & CB Insights as trackers**

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