Ryerson’s Legal Innovation Zone announces international (virtual) tech entrepreneurship program

This fall, Ryerson University’s legal tech startup incubator, the Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ) is launching Sprint Studio, a free new virtual program for tech entrepreneurs around the world.

The 12-week online program, which begins this fall, is designed to help entrepreneurs “develop their proof of concept into a market-ready product.” It aims to help early-stage startups build innovative legal tech products and validate their business models.

“Building a successful product with international reach requires constant iteration, mentorship, and engagement.”

The new program was initially supposed to launch this summer, but in order to accommodate speakers and “be mindful of those enjoying their summer vacation” the LIZ decided to postpone its opening to the fall. Sprint Studio is one of four programs the Ryerson-based incubator announced last December to serve entrepreneurs building innovative legal businesses. Other programs include Innovator’s Canvas, Concept Framework, and Incubate.

“Having successfully launched and hosted two cohorts of the Concept Framework program with participants from over 10 countries, the LIZ is now helping legal tech entrepreneurs take the next step,” said Chris Bentley, co-founder and managing director of the LIZ. “Building a successful product with international reach requires constant iteration, mentorship, and engagement with potential clients. That’s the type of support we’re looking to provide.”

The new program will focus, in particular, on initial customer development and building a marketable minimum viable product

The LIZ, which opened in May 2015, calls itself “the world’s first dedicated legal tech incubator.” It focuses on advancing legal solutions for consumers and businesses by supporting innovative approaches designed to improve legal services and the justice system.

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Sprint Studio is part of the incubator’s larger, four-part approach to provide service to legal tech entrepreneurs globally. It begins first with Innovator’s Canvas, an idea feedback module, and then Concept Framework, a six-week online program that helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into a proof of concept. Step three is Sprint Studio, and step four is Incubate, an incubation program for market-ready legal tech startups with innovative products and disruptive business models.

The LIZ accepts applications to Innovator’s Canvas throughout the year, and applications to Incubate on a monthly basis.

Between January and June, the LIZ hosted two Concept Framework cohorts that included participants from Canada, Germany, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and the United States.

“As the legal industry navigates the challenges and opportunities of remote work, legal tech entrepreneurs have the ability to build and offer solutions that address these challenges and improve upon the current state of legal services delivery,” said Hersh Perlis, co-founder and director of the LIZ. “Sprint Studio will help bring more legal tech solutions to the global legal market.”

Program participants will engage with online content developed by legal, business, and tech industry experts, under the guidance of LIZ mentors.

Sprint Studio’s first cohort begins on September 15, and runs until December 1. Applications to join the program, which are currently open, close on September 1.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Christin Hume.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache. He was also the winner of SABEW Canada’s 2023 Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist award.

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