08 February 2023

Lawtech Sandbox Diaries: Cognitiv+

We spoke to founder, Vasilis Tsolis, about Cognitiv+'s Lawtech Sandbox experience, what they learnt and life after the programme.

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Reviewing contracts manually is inefficient and error-prone. However, former lawyer, civil engineer and contracts manager Vasilis Tsolis saw the potential automated contract reviews could have on businesses and believed this could be achieved through AI technology.

“Companies have so many contracts and other legal documentation that they often don't realise what's there,” Tsolis says. "Companies assume they have 1,000 contracts, but they probably have 5,000. Understanding your commitments helps a company manage risks, opportunities and gain a competitive edge."

Cognitive+ utilises artificial intelligence to help organisations understand their obligations and easily gain vital contract information during commercial disputes. Tsolis outlines how the Lawtech Sandbox helped him build Cognitive+.

What Cognitiv+ gained from the Lawtech Sandbox

  • Scale-up strategy

  • Challenge product assumptions

  • Feedback on key priorities from industry experts

  • Collaborations with major law firm

Tsolis applied to join the Lawtech Sandbox to find a mentor to help formulate a scale-up strategy for Cognitiv+.“While many of our competitors focus on large companies, we want to democratise this technology. We applied to the Sandbox as we were looking for mentors to provide feedback and help us extend our reach beyond large enterprises.”

LawtechUK connected Tsolis and his team to a mentor [from a law firm]. They involved several colleagues to provide feedback and strategic advice on Cognitiv+. “The experience was above and beyond what we were hoping for. We were able to challenge some of our previous assumptions and set the scene for future development by obtaining feedback on our three key priorities: use cases, pricing, and UI/UX enhancements.”

This feedback helped Tsolis plan his strategy going forward. “We were fortunate to have a very productive and immediately hands-on mentor. We had five or six online sessions, each with a different area of focus.”

The biggest benefit was openness – the ability to get feedback from a law firm without any intention. “As a tech provider, normally when we interact with a law firm it is as a potential buyer. The Sandbox allowed us to host different discussions without an ulterior motive. Working with a major law firm, we gained constructive feedback that shaped our future plans and talked to people about their (good and bad) experiences with different software solutions. It has really helped us work out what to do next, technically and commercially.”

Since the Lawtech Sandbox

The Lawtech Sandbox helped Cognitiv+ shape its scale-up strategy. It showed Tsolis and his team the value of open feedback. “The Sandbox experience helped us recognise the importance of openness and attracting adopters willing to discuss what’s working well and what’s not. We are always looking for people with imagination who want to do things differently and our next steps are about opening up our solutions to more users.”

He is now looking for more firms to participate in A/B testing (i.e. working with different versions of the software), roundtables and other meetings involving multiple users. Additionally, Tsolis is keen to explore the software’s potential application beyond leveraging contract relationships across different market segments – including exploring consumer and access to justice (A2J) space.

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