Top law firm offers $500k for innovators in the legal scene, opens start-up accelerato

Leading Australian law firm Mills Oakley has announced a start-up accelerator to support legal service innovations.

Launching the Mills Oakley Innovation Accelerator, Mills Oakley Chief Executive, John Nerurker, revealed that the firm would provide up to $500,000 to support viable ideas through incubation and commercialisation.

“New technologies and better processes are revolutionising the way law firms work. The best firms are actively seeking out innovations to deliver even better results for clients, which is why we are excited to announce the Innovation Accelerator.”

Mills Oakley will partner on this initiative with Collective Campus, a leading innovation hub, school and consultancy that has delivered services to the likes of Sportsbet, National Australia Bank, Telstra, UBER, Zomato and Webjet.

How will the program work?

Australian start-up teams and aspiring entrepreneurs are being invited to submit concepts via the entry form on the firm’s new website. Shortlisted teams will be invited to participate in a three-day workshop to refine their ideas before pitching to a judging panel of legal sector and start-up experts.

Successful teams will then be funded to take part in a three-month accelerator program to support concepts to commercialisation.

Nerurker said submissions could include concepts for new technologies or business processes that will refine the way a law firm operates or delivers its services.

“Perhaps you’re a lawyer or a software developer, a student or experienced business professional. Age and background are of no importance. What we are focussed on are viable concepts,” he clarified.

What is Mills Oakley offering the innovators?

Mills Oakley’s funding support will include:

  • assistance to commercialise an idea (including budget for design, development and marketing)
  • a shared workspace for team members
  • a weekly stipend of $500 per person and travel support
  • mentorship from start-up experts
  • education in innovation theory, design thinking, lean start-up, marketing and other areas
  • access to legal and business advice from senior Mills Oakley lawyers.

“Existing business model innovations and emerging technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence and blockchain promise to make the next decade one of great upheaval for many industries, not least legal services,” commented Collective Campus CEO and co-Founder, Steve Glaveski.

“We’re excited to partner with a progressive legal firm like Mills Oakley, which is showing ‘new law’ firm attributes by engaging with Australia’s innovation and start-up ecosystem.”

Submissions for the Innovation Accelerator are open until 30 September 2016.

September 6, 2023