Applications are now closed. Check back for the winners! Follow us on Twitter (@RyersonLIZ) for updates.


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 will fuel the success of six innovative Ontario startups that are building products and solutions that challenge the status quo of legal services and enhance 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 remains June 24, 2016 at 11:59pm, while the Stage 1 shortlisted entrant presentations will occur on or about July 14.


The Ontario Access to Justice Challenge (A2J) will foster 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 will be 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 will have 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 will be selected and awarded access to the Legal Innovation Zone for a four-month residency and customized programming, to begin August 2, 2016. At the end of four months, the startups will participate in a “Demo Day” event on or about November 25, 2016, where three of the six startups will 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 will also be invited to stay in the Legal Innovation Zone for an additional four months.

As part of their residency, Legal Innovation Zone startups will receive:

  • 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


Complete the online application here.

The deadline to apply is June 24, 2016 at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Based on the quality of submissions, up to 10 finalists will be chosen and invited to pitch to the judging panel, comprised of industry experts and the program sponsors. The panel will select six winning startups to participate in the four-month program. Successful applicants will be notified on or about July 14, 2016.

For complete details on the application process, please read the challenge rules.


Questions? Email