• LexLab at UC Hastings Law Announces Its Winner of Demo Day & Pitch Competition

    April 26, 2022 | at UC Hastings Law


    LexLab at UC Hastings Law, an innovation hub for the legal profession, hosted its fifth annual legal tech Demo Day this past Thursday. Justice Text, a video evidence management platform used by public defenders and criminal defense attorneys, won the grand prize of $5,000.


    LexLab’s Demo Day is an annual showcase of cutting-edge legal technology solutions. In addition to the five companies in LexLab’s accelerator program, three UC Hastings Law students pitched the business ideas they developed over the course of the spring semester. The pitches were judged by a panel of legal tech evangelists and investors, which included Pieter Gunst, co- founder of Legal.io, Olga Mack, CEO of Parley Pro, and Kunoor Chopra, co-founder of Elevate Services.


    After winning the grand prize, Devshi Mehrotra, the CEO of Justice Text, talked about the program: “Taking part in LexLab gave me the opportunity to hear directly from inspiring legal- tech operators like Alex Su and Derek Duarte about how to scale sales and marketing efforts as a young organization. I am so grateful to have won the Demo Day grand prize and am excited to continue expanding to criminal justice organizations across the country.”


    Case Yak, which uses artificial intelligence to predict the value of personal injury claims, received the second-place prize of $1,000. Kenny Schlagel, the company’s CTO, said: “The LexLab Accelerator was a great way for us to make connections, get feedback and iterate on our early-stage product. We learned a lot from other founders who had been in our shoes and faced some of the same challenges and opportunities, and we're thankful for the experience”


    The other startups in LexLab’s 2022 cohort included:

    • Graphletter, which helps companies meet their data protection and privacy requirements through automated legal reasoning and a collaborative compliance workspace. Graphletter was founded by UC Hastings alum Peter Boaz ’15.
    • Inkly has built an intelligent contract negotiation platform with attorneys available on- demand. Inkly was co-founded by UC Hastings alum Victor Wang ’15.
    • Legal Karma is the first easy drag and drop tool to automate any contract.

    Before the companies presented, three students from Professor Alice Armitage’s “Legal Tech: How to Build a Startup” pitched their ideas for future businesses. The course focuses on teaching students the principles of design thinking, lean startup, team building, agile development.

    • Christoph Keese, LL.M. 2022 presented Passat, a “plug and play” method for companies using blockchain technology to seamlessly comply with GDPR when transferring data.
    • Sasha Madani, J.D. 2023, presented Spot, the Airbnb for parking spots and garages.
    • Rebecca Siegel. J.D 2022, presented PonyX, a company using private distributed ledger technology to offer a GDPR compliant method to transfer EU personal data.

    The judges awarded the best pitch to Rebecca Siegel, who had this to say about her experience: “Although pitching to a panel of entrepreneurs at the end of the class was intimidating, I felt that the class more than prepared me for the questions that were asked! For someone who is interested in working in the emerging companies and venture capital space, it was invaluable for me to gain some experience from the perspective of the new venture.”


    Morris Ratner, UC Hastings Provost & Academic Dean, expanded on the ways in which LexLab is preparing the lawyers of tomorrow: “LexLab has launched graduates who have the skills, tools, and mindset to lean into disruption of the legal services market and, in so doing, to ensure that information and services are efficiently and fairly distributed.”


    “After two years of running the accelerator online due to the pandemic, it was wonderful to be able to gather in person for this Demo Day,” said Drew Amerson, Director of LexLab. “We can’t wait to do it again next year!”