Large enterprises are constantly looking to engage with startups to bolster their innovation quotient through various programmes. Thomson Reuters plans to take it to a different level with a focus on legal and regulatory space.
The number of startups in the legal and regulatory space is quite limited and Thomson Reuters wants to change it through its technology investment programme TR Ignite for the Asia Pacific region. This competition-based process will allow successful selected startups to secure a potential investment of up to $250,000 alongside strategic collaboration with Thomson Reuters.
“This programme is an innovation activity from Thomson Reuters to find startups that might be interested in collaborating with us to develop new innovative solutions in this segment,” says James Jarvis, Director - Global Legal Solutions, Thomson Reuters.
According to James, the engagement with startups is also an innovative way to work in the new emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and natural language processing (NLP).
On the programme, Jackie Rhodes, Head of Legal Professionals, Asia & Emerging Markets at Thomson Reuters, says, “We are typically committed to innovation in a vertical, which is also one of the biggest units within Thomson Reuters.”
The regulatory driven legal and compliance area has not witnessed any deep inroad of technology. As James says, “We have been focussed for more than a decade on finding generic ways to bring the technology into the hands of the lawyer and legal professional. Our focus is to understand the work that the lawyers are doing and most of the opportunities for technology to enhance the way they are doing that work.”
Thomson Reuters is also looking at meaningful interaction with startups as it has got the wherewithal in terms of resources and data. Jackie says, “It has more to do with critical access to our global customer footprints and partner sources, providing benefit to mentorship with the help of Thomson Reuters community.”
It also boasts of one of the largest collection of legal material and information globally. This availability to data gives the opportunity for the startups to test out the scale and breadth of their innovative solutions.
On the presence of startups in this domain, Jackie says that across the Asia-Pacific, there is a sizeable number of firms in this segment with a sprinkling of them in India. She hopes the TR Ignite programme would provide a boost to this segment.
“In the legal and regulatory domain, startup innovation is definitely picking up driven by two factors where one is the kind of investment and other is the technology students,” says James.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)