LEAVING THE COMFORT OF A PRESTIGIOUS LAW CAREER TO LAUNCH A BUSINESS
June 26, 2018
For 5 years, Philip Hazeltine practiced law in a prestigious Montreal law firm. At the dawn of his thirties, he decided to say goodbye to the comfort of his career to launch his own business.
Since he was a child, Philip Hazeltine dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur.
“When I was a toddler, I wanted to build my own business. Growing up, I also felt the need to be free. As a lawyer working for an important law firm, I spent most of my time at work, which ended up making me feel quite captive. Now, as an entrepreneur, I feel much more free due to the fact that my team and I make our own decisions and decide at what pace to move” shares Philipe Hazeltine, CEO of Neolegal Inc. (Neolegal).
Philip discovered his team by a happy coincidence. An angel investor part of his network put him in contact with a fellow aspiring entrepreneur, Fabien Navet, who possessed a very similar business idea. This angel investor saw a possibility for these two to get along, and luckily he was right.
Philip and Fabien met towards the end of 2016. Realizing the complementarity of their expertise as well as a shared passion to see the project take off, they decided to become business partners. Thanks to the arrival of a third co-founder, Sid Benachenhou, who possessed a strong technological expertise, the Neolegal adventure officially began.
Neolegal is a simple and efficient technological platform which facilitates the access to justice for individuals and small business owners, while optimizing lawyers’ workload. From the comfort of their home or office, individuals in search of legal counsel can submit their request through the platform and wait for a lawyer to contact them. The wait is only a few hours and the fee quite modest.
“So far, the legal field has not seen many transformative technological innovations. That being said, it has to adapt to the times. Most people do not have time anymore to go meet lawyers at their work place, nor do they have the luxury to spend important amounts to cover legal expenses: they want to be more self-sufficient and in control” adds Philip.
“At Neolegal, our objective is not to replace lawyers with a platform, but to facilitate and optimize the communication between lawyers and clients” stresses Sid Benachenhou, Vice-president of Technology at Neolegal.
The company is in full flight: exactly one year after launching their online platform, the cofounders closed a 400K$ funding round (their first), including members of Anges Québec and other private investors.
“From an investor’s point of view, a critical factor of success is the founders’ ability and potential” stresses Ginette Mailhot, investor and Chairwoman of the board at Anges Québec. “At Neolegal, we are in the presence of:
- A very relevant concept, which consists of offering access to a professional service to a maximum of people, simply, rapidly and for a fraction of the price;
- Dynamic and complementary cofounders, animated by a strong passion which already demonstrates results.
We therefore have the essential attributes for success, demonstrated by the fact that clients are already coming back. Client satisfaction is the basis for success, is it not?” adds Ginette Mailhot.
“I cannot say what the future holds, but I know that Neolegal is currently the only online legal platform in Quebec which answers clients’ needs in a comprehensive manner. The market is up for grabs, and we intend on being the first ones to conquer it” concludes Philip Hazeltine.
Neolegal is the first legal platform in Quebec, which facilitates access to justice for individuals and small business owners. Born from the realization that access to justice was too costly, time-consuming and complicated, Neolegal is the result of our ambition to find technological solutions to these issues and to offer a new concept of the legal profession. www.neolegal.ca
About Anges Québec
Anges Québec is the largest group of angel investors in Québec. Its mission is to allow its more than 200 members to make profitable investments. The members of Ange Québec have invested to date over $75M in the Québec economy, for a total of 177 investments in more than 102 innovating companies. Thanks to its Professional Development Center, Anges Québec supports its members in their ongoing acquisition of new skills and knowledge inherent to investing.
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Information and interviews
Stéphanie Schwanen, Communications and Community Director | Anges Québec
Cell : (514) 895-7622 | firstname.lastname@example.org