CALLING: STARTUPS WHO WANT TO IMPROVE A2J IN ONTARIO
A Call for Startups with Innovative Solutions that improve access to justice (A2J) in Ontario
Delivering legal services faster, simpler and more affordably will give many more people access to those services. New products, technologies, or processes have the potential to transform legal services and make them more accessible. Unleashing the creative potential of innovators can help improve justice services for many Ontarians, both individuals and businesses.
The Ontario Access to Justice Challenge fuelled the success of six innovative Ontario startups that are building products and solutions that challenge the status quo of legal services and enhanced access to justice.
Please be advised that the Challenge Rules have been slightly amended to fix the discrepancy between what was advertised in the ‘How to Apply’ section of the website and the Challenge Rules. Please see part 6 of the Challenge Rules for an explanation of how the shortlisted entrant pitch presentation will be incorporated into Stage 1 of the Challenge. The deadline for applications for the A2J Challenge closed on June 24, 2016 at 11:59pm, while the Stage 1 shortlisted entrant presentations occurred on or about July 14.
WHAT IS THE ONTARIO ACCESS TO JUSTICE CHALLENGE?
The Ontario Access to Justice Challenge (A2J) fostered the growth and success of startups that are developing products, technologies, processes, and solutions that have a direct positive impact on access to justice in Ontario.
Successful applicants were incubated at the Legal Innovation Zone – Canada’s first legal incubator – and gain access to mentors, advisors, and technology experts as well as the workspace and programming needed to drive their business forward. They had an opportunity to receive seed money of up to $25,000 to grow their company into a successful enterprise that has a significant impact on access to justice in Ontario.
The Ministry of the Attorney General
The Ministry of the Attorney General is responsible for providing a fair and accessible justice system which reflects the needs of the diverse communities it serves across government and the province. It strives to manage the justice system in an equitable, affordable, and accessible way throughout the province.
The Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University
The Legal Innovation Zone at Ryerson University is a co-working space and incubator for the people and ideas that will change the status quo of Canada’s legal system. Based on the model of the DMZ — North America’s #1 university business incubator, where more than 240 startups have grown their businesses — the Legal Innovation Zone helps support, foster and develop solutions and technologies that aim to improve the justice system and legal services.
To apply to the Ontario Access to Justice Challenge, individuals or startups must:
Have a majority of the team who are legal residents of Ontario
Have a creative solution that contributes to the public’s access to the justice system
Meet the standard membership requirements for members in the LIZ
For complete rules on eligibility, please read the challenge rules.
Six startups were selected and awarded access to the Legal Innovation Zone for a four-month residency and customized programming, that began August 2, 2016. At the end of four months, the startups participated in a “Demo Day” event where three of the six startups were to be selected and awarded seed money of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 for 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place, respectively. Each of these startups were also invited to stay in the Legal Innovation Zone for an additional four months.
As part of their residency, Legal Innovation Zone startups received:
- A four-month customized program focused on making productive business connections to prospective clients, partners, sector experts, and investors
- Dedicated workspace and resources
- Mentorship and coaching from mentors, advisors, and technology experts
- Special recognition provided by the Legal Innovation Zone through their extensive network
HOW TO APPLY
Applications for this challenge closed on June 24, 2016 at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time.
Based on the quality of submissions, up to 10 finalists were chosen and invited to pitch to the judging panel, comprised of industry experts and the program sponsors. The panel selected six winning startups to participate in the four-month program. Read more about the winners of the challenge here.
For complete details on the application process, please read the challenge rules.