Allen & Overy’s FUSE innovation and tech incubation space is calling for legal tech and fintech companies to apply for its latest cohort – its fifth so far.
Both early stage and more mature companies are invited to apply from 25 January 2021. Applicants will be asked to describe the problems they solve and what assistance they are seeking from A&O.
Applications are expected to close in early February, with a formal selection day to follow in March. Successful companies will be invited to join Fuse from April 2021, the global firm said.
‘While cohort 4 ran digitally, 2021 will hopefully see a hybrid solution, maintaining the best of physical and virtual collaboration whilst continuing to foster a community of change’ they added.
During the previous cohort, Fuse saw a number of successes, including the entry by LMA.Automate (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Loan Market Association) into a collaboration with Allen & Overy and Fuse cohort member Avvoka, to establish a documentation automation platform in respect of certain LMA documents. In addition, Fuse resident Secretarium won a UK Research & Innovation grant to enable privacy-preserving collaboration on Covid-19 data.
Following on from the success of the fintech stream, which debuted in cohort 4, Fuse will once again work with a select group of financial sector clients to nominate certain companies to join the next cohort, the firm said.
Shruti Ajitsaria, Partner and Head of Fuse, said: ‘A&O is committed to investing in the future and we are proud of our culture for driving digital innovation in the legal sector. Fuse has been central to our success, enabling our lawyers to gain hands-on experience of emerging technology and our clients to consider possible applications for their business.’
Speaking about his experience of working in Fuse, Tim Follett, CEO and Founder of StructureFlow, who joined Fuse in cohort 4, said: ‘A&O has a very impressive approach to innovation and there has been a meeting of minds between us. We were keen to be part of Fuse to have the opportunity to really develop and grow our product through access to lawyers and getting direct feedback on how our software can best serve their needs. Being part of a virtual cohort has been a very positive experience for us and the support that we have received from Fuse has been invaluable.’
While, Nnamdi Emelifeonwu, founder of cohort member Define, added: ‘We joined Fuse as a very early stage start-up and since then our business has gone from strength to strength. The relationship with A&O has been really beneficial to us, from licensing our software to showcasing our product for clients and piloting with one of the firm’s clients. Being in an open and collaborative environment where we have been able to get advice from other cohort members has allowed us to really mature as a company.’
Artificial Lawyer is a big supporter of incubators as they are a win/win for all involved. The law firms get to engage closely with companies with new ideas and approaches. The companies get real world feedback that makes their products better and ensures that they solve real problems. And the clients win by having law firms and legal tech vendors that are able to add more value and meet their needs.
More information about Fuse can be found here.