Interview | 'Speak with Scout' (legal chatbot) | winners of Disrupting Law 2016
Speak with ScoutTell us about Speak with Scout and how it all came about?Speak with Scout provides free, fast and personalised legal guidance and referrals via Facebook messenger. The principle of Scout is simple: you message Scout through Facebook messenger with your issue and Scout guides you to the assistance you need. Our service helps you access the right lawyer for your situation so that you can understand your legal rights and how to protect them.Speak with Scout came about after we won the Disrupting Law competition run by QUT Starters and The Legal Forecast in August last year. We were tasked with the challenge of creating a concept that disrupted the legal industry within a 52 hour timeframe.See http://speakwithscout.com/Tell us about Disrupting Law and your success there. What was the event like and how did it assist you to get where you are?In August of last year QUT Starters and The Legal Forecast hosted a competition that we took part in called Disrupting Law. The competition was designed to disrupt the legal industry and increase access to justice through technology. Students from a wide range of degrees formed groups and were allocated a mentoring law firm for the 52-hour duration. Disrupting Law is a fantastic experience for anyone interested in the future of the legal industry. It demonstrated to us that students from a wide range of disciplines can collaborate towards a common goal. It also gives students an insight into the substantial and supportive network of people in Brisbane and beyond that are eager to assist startups.Why the name Speak with Scout?The definition of a scout is generally accepted to be a person that is sent out to find information or things. We therefore felt that the name Scout was fitting for our chatbot. We also wanted to convey that our service is personal and not a generic search result, hence the inclusion of ‘speak’ in the name. Where are you guys at right now?We are developing our MVP. What has been the biggest hurdle getting to where you are today?The large amount of data required to create a reliable service has made defining our scope a continuous challenge. We’ve finally defined our scope and are now in the process of testing the market. Biggest achievement?Our biggest achievement so far has been our move to Melbourne to take part in an Accelerator Program run by Mills Oakley and Collective Campus. It has given us the opportunity to intensively work on our business with guidance, funding and support from professionals with both legal and entrepreneurial experience. Tells us more about the Mills Oakley Accelerator we understand the team has relocated?The Mills Oakley Accelerator program is run by Mills Oakley, a law firm, and Collective Campus, a disruptive innovation consultancy. The 13-week program is specifically designed for legal start-ups and offers funding, knowledge, tools and support.What are your goals for 2017? And then beyond?Our immediate goal is to roll out our MVP. Following this, we will expand our service into more in-depth legal guidance for users.Bio about the team:The Speak with Scout team is comprised of three enterprising individuals. Raph leads our tech, Emma loves all things law and Annabel is enthusiastic about business development. Our aim is to use technology to make legal guidance fast and easy to access. Blog post by TLF Executive Member and start-up fiend Sam Sheehan.