We've been part of Algo Legal's legal tech incubator for some months now; here's a snapshot of our journey so far. You can read more about their work at https://algolegal.in/.
As the founder of TrustIn, I came into work every day knowing what needed to get done. Or at least, that’s how I felt at the time. We’d received exciting early validation for our solution, and it seemed like we were on the right path to building a successful company.
We started TrustIn with the idea that secure, sensitive tech can enable safer workplaces at scale, and a simple vision: a world where everyone feels safe and empowered to pursue their goals. We strongly believe that this sense of safety matters most at the workplace- companies and colleges- where we spend most of our time.
Being a founder can be notoriously difficult and isolating, and this feels magnified when you’re doing it for the very first time, as the sole founder to boot. Even though I was stressed and busy all the time, I thought TrustIn was in a good place for a startup that was just a couple months old- we had an MVP out in the market, some initial revenue, great reviews, and promising inbound leads.
When we first met the Algo Legal team, I was deeply impressed by the candor and unconditional support extended by the founder, Sandeep Kapoor. As the ex-Sequoia India GC, Sandeep has seen hundreds of startups succeed and fail, and it was clear that he understood the “playbook” of company building inside and out. The Algo COO, Dhruv, and CIO, Rasmeet, also gave valuable feedback that helped surface our blind spots around creating legal tech solutions for the Indian market.
The greatest value add of the Algo Legal incubation comes from the personalized, frequent coaching provided by the leadership team. They’ve been great sounding boards, setting up weekly check-ins to ensure accountability and momentum, while taking the time to deeply understand the founding team’s vision and what it would take to execute the same.
They add value to what founders value, and this shows up in ways both big and small- from enabling us through admin/legal resources in the office, or calling out the digressions and distractions that can derail progress.
For me, I embraced the product building aspects enthusiastically, doing legal tech deep dives and market research, without zooming out as much as I needed to. My coaching conversations with Sandeep helped me focus on building robust, rigorous basics- from business modelling to go-to-market strategies- that ensured we were focused on building a company and not just great product(s). Through the program, I’ve also shifted my mindset from building, to building and selling in tandem- a simple paradigm, but one that sinks many early stage startups.
As a solo founder, it’s been valuable to me to have thought partners who have context and credibility in the legal world, since I’m navigating the latter as a non-lawyer. I’ve always appreciated the high availability and honest feedback from the Algo team, and since they’re fellow early-stage operators, their advice is contextualized and actionable.
Some of the big themes in our ad hoc problem solving have included- navigating early acquisition interest, vetting partnerships, placing strategic bets, and in-depth market research. While the team welcomes questions and offers perspective, it’s within an empowering environment that enables founders to make informed, independent decisions.
Last but not least, every founder will attest that the journey often gets lonely. One of the biggest benefits of the Algo Legal incubation has been working alongside other early stage legal tech founders in the trenches, exploring coworking and collaboration, and brainstorming or commiserating with each other.
We also had a chance to interact with the larger Indian legal tech founder community during a call with the CAMP Prarambh incubatees, discussing everything from product-service hybrids to navigating SaaS sales in the Indian market.
It’s easy to get sucked into the daily nitty-gritties of creating a product, and lose sight of the big picture, struggle to stay motivated, or allow your blind spots to turn into glaring roadblocks.
For TrustIn, the last five months at Algo Legal have been an incredible, immersive learning experience, setting us up to build a strong foundation for company building, while evolving our community and contextual awareness. We’re grateful to Algo Legal for making us feel like a part of their team, and we’ve come a long way since we began- we’ve doubled our team strength and tripled our product and client portfolios, and are looking forward to what the future holds!