LightSpeed is a legal tech incubator with a focus on Europe (which includes the landmass on the left-hand side of the continent, AKA Great Britain), and is run by Paris-based legal publisher Lefebvre Sarrut. It is now calling for startups to apply for its second cohort.
It’s a six-month incubator, which aims to ‘support a new generation of entrepreneurial spirit and ambition in the legal tech space’. Meanwhile Lefebvre Sarrut is a French publishing, training and software group, operating across eight European countries: France, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the UK.
The aim is to provide mentoring and support to startups, as well as leverage their very established network across Europe to help those companies to grow. They are not seeking to take equity. Startups focused on tax are also welcome.
The deadline to apply is April 25 – see here.
The project added that you will get ‘on-demand, customised mentoring …. and workshops to help innovative companies grow and scale sustainability’.
Olivier Campenon, CEO Lefebvre Sarrut, said in a statement: ‘We have learned a lot from the first edition of LightSpeed and in particular about our role in the innovation brought by legal techs. Lefebvre Sarrut continues to support – at the European level – innovative solutions that promote knowledge sharing and the strengthening of the rule of law.’
The group added that areas they are especially interested in include: operational solutions related to regulation (which makes sense as they are a legal publisher), cybersecurity, and Web3. But they appear to be open to all ideas that they can help with.
Startups need to be at a level where the product is already being used by at least some clients. At the end of May successful candidates will be announced. The event kicks off in early June at the BPI (Banque Française d’Investissement) in Paris. The programme will close towards the end of the year with a ceremony to be held at ‘a surprise location in Europe’.
Artificial Lawyer welcomes this move as incubators have been shown to genuinely help startups to grow and better understand the problems they are trying to solve. Large organisations like this one can also help inspire customers to explore legal tech solutions and provide plenty of useful mentoring to the startups.
Moreover, when it comes to Europe, there is a vibrant legal tech scene – it’s just not evenly distributed. Any project that helps to get the word out and spread legal tech’s positive impact across what is a huge potential market has to be welcomed.
In fact, this site was talking to a major American investment fund this week when the subject of the European market came up. While a lot…er, well, most, of the attention is on the US and UK, the EU as it is today (even without the UK) has a population of 450 million people and an annual GDP of Euro 13.5 Trillion ($14.7 Trillion), and each nation within it has a strong legal industry.
I.e. That is a huge potential market, if you can overcome language barriers and build a product that fits into a European, Civil Law culture – but most tools will be able to do that. Many companies assume that more growth can only come from heading to the UK, or if already here, then moving to the US, but Europe is vast and home to many leading law firms and huge corporations.
There are some differences, (see AL article about Germany, for example), but also some great opportunities if you can find the right market fit.
Any road, check it out. It will be interesting to see who joins LightSpeed cohort 2.0. Good luck. Vive la legal tech!