Matthieu Sarrazin pitched his idea on Friday night and convinced a team of 6 people to build a startup over a weekend. A first step in Legal Finder’s journey.
(Featured Image : Matthieu Sarrazin and his team with the trophy / Image Credit © Technoport)
What are your first impressions of the Startup Weekend?
It is an amazing event! The atmosphere is so great, so special, and the organizers so entertaining! In the same time, coaches make you work hard, for your best, and you are permanently thinking, brainstorming, creating and making choices at a high speed pace. That’s an intense event for sure!
How did you hear about the SW Luxembourg?
A couple of years ago, a friend told me about Startup Weekend events, but I wasn’t ready for such adventure yet and didn’t pay too much attention to it. Then some weeks ago, I was describing my idea to another friend, explaining that I was eager to go for it but not sure where to start or how to do it. He told me about the Startup Weekend event taking place in Luxembourg, I remembered that I’ve heard about it some years before, and I thought the timing was just perfect now and decided to go for it.
“Legal Finder is a platform which finds the best lawyer for you. You often need a lawyer for important events of your life, with different needs and expectations.”
What did you expect when you have shown up on Friday evening?
I started to think more seriously about my idea a couple of months ago. When I decided to participate to the Startup Weekend Luxembourg, my only expectation was to learn something from it. I was convinced that, whatever the outcome of every step during the weekend would be, I will get an important lesson from it. For example, I didn’t know if my idea would even pass the first round of pitches, on Friday evening, but that was a good way to explore its potential. I was sure that in all cases, I would get something out of this experience. Something that would help me move forward on this project. That was my only expectation and now I can tell that I was not disappointed: I learnt a lot!
— StartupWE Luxembourg (@swluxembourg) 9 décembre 2018
What is Legal Finder about?
Legal Finder is a platform which finds the best lawyer for you. You often need a lawyer for important events of your life, with different needs and expectations. When you are divorcing, you are not in the same state of mind than when you create a company for example, and that influences your choice for a lawyer. Legal Finder intends to guide clients through a customized search to find the lawyer that best matches your personnal needs and criteria. In the same time, the platform is a new source of clients for lawyers. They will not receive random clients: they will receive clients who are specifically in needs of them. It’s a really basic summary, but the idea is that if your main advantage as a lawyer is your experience for example, we will put you in contact with clients who value experience above all the rest, and not clients who just want the cheapest price.
“The team achieved a lot all together. At a personal level, I would say that my biggest achievement was to succeed to share and explain my idea to 6 complete strangers and let them bring their own approach, ideas and concepts to it.”
How did you come up with the idea?
I studied law and work in legal-related fields. Many people were contacting me so I can recommend a good lawyer to them, because there is nothing available online, no such service. To provide a good recommendation, I always asked them on their main needs (experience, availability, price, etc…). In parallel, I know many lawyers who would like to have more cases. They also faced unsatisfied clients, for example clients who are expecting a low price from a very experienced partner, or people who refuse to discuss with a junior lawyer because they only trust experienced partners. Sometimes it can create difficult and sensitive moment, especially if the clients are very stressed, and they consider their lawyer should just be the way they want. This is how I came up with this idea to match clients with lawyers.
What did you achieve over the weekend?
The team achieved a lot all together. At a personal level, I would say that my biggest achievement was to succeed to share and explain my idea to 6 complete strangers and let them bring their own approach, ideas and concepts to it. It’s a real challenge to accept that others approach your project from different angles and integrate their feedback to what you initially thought or planned. Still, if you can do that and allow a real team work, you get results beyond expectations. That is why by the end of the weekend, our final pitch was presented by a united team, and it was at least 6 times better than what I could have done on my own.
What were the 3 best memories of the weekend?
There was a lot, but let’s state one per day. On Friday, the best memory is the moment I opened the enveloppe with the votes. I took out so many votes! I didn’t see that coming and I was truly surprised. My second best memory was on Saturday morning when the team arrived with so much dynamism and motivation. That was really inspiring. In particular, one of them came with the idea to put post-its everywhere on the walls, to share our ideas and work on them easily. The third memory, on Sunday, was half an hour before the final pitch. We’ve finished our last rehearsal pitch and I saw on the faces of my teammates how convinced and proud they were. As I told them at that moment, this satisfaction was our true victory.
— Technoport (@Technoport_Lux) 10 décembre 2018
You’ve a full-time job currently. Do you expect launching Legal Finder one day?
Yes, definitely. Startup Weekend Luxembourg is just the first step of this journey. I am not expecting to launch it tomorrow of course, but I had in my mind to go for it already before. After this weekend, I received so much support and encouragements that I’m clearly determined to launch it one day. The real question now is: when do I expect to launch Legal Finder? To that I will answer: within the year to come!
What would you need to set up the platform?
I need people with motivation and faith. That sounds utopic, I know, but that’s the core of every project like this. I would need of course investors to finance the first months or year, IT support to create, develop and launch the platform, business support to provide our clients the best experience and services. Everyone is welcome to contact me to support the project, join it or even guide me, but if these persons are really motivated and truly believe in the success of Legal Finder, then we will go even further than what we initially thought we could achieve.
Why should people participate in the Startup Weekend?
It is a wonderful experience from which everyone will benefit a lot. It offers the opportunity to develop your skills, gain some new knowledges, share others’ experiences, but more importantly learn about yourself. Exploring your strengths and weaknesses and accept them, you will improve from such event and this is why you should participate. If you have an idea, come and try it. See if you can push it further. If you want to create something from scratch while making new friends, simply come and do it. Or, if you only want to have fun and know more about yourself, come, experience and enjoy!
Nicole Monti, Project Manager at Technoport and member of the organizing team also gave us her first impressions after that intensive hackathon.
How do you feel after this 10th edition?
Tired but motivated for the next edition! The determination and satisfaction of participants and the dedication of coaches and judges give us a lot of energy to carry on with the organization of this unique event.
Also, it has been nice to see some previous coaches and judges coming to attend the final presentations, and to see participants of previous edition who decided to participate again. That means that Startup Weekend left some good memories in them.
What were the best memories of the weekend?
The best part of the weekend is to you see the evolution in the dynamics between the team members. They start as a group of unknown people that need to agree upon a specific idea and during the weekend they are able to create a close and committed team that works hard to develop the project.
The coaching sessions with experts help them a lot and we are happy to receive a strong commitment also from the coaches’ side.
On Sunday it’s great to see a significant improvement of the pitches even in the 2 last hours between the rehearsal phase in front of the organizers and the final presentation in front of the jury.
The final dinner on Sunday evening left good memories since participants expressed their satisfaction and thankfulness for the good experience.
“This edition was a generic one while probably next year we will focus on two verticals: InsurTech and FinTech.”
What do you think about the projects pitched on Friday and the finalists on Sunday?
On Friday night more than 2/3 of the participants decided to pitch and that’s a great number. It was nice to see that some people took our challenge of addressing worldwide problems that dramatically need to find solutions. They developed projects to reduce the dependence from smartphone, to integrate refugees, and to reduce the negative human impact on the planet.
Concerning the projects of the three finalists (1. Legal Finder 2. Easy Volunteer 3. Yes! Planet) I think they could have a positive impact in Luxembourg society and I hope they will continue to work on their development.
Any insights regarding the 11th edition?
This edition was a generic one while probably next year we will focus on two verticals: InsurTech and FinTech. Dates still need to be decided, maybe we will have 2 editions in 2019. Also the venue will probably change.
— Technoport (@Technoport_Lux) 10 décembre 2018