Bill Maya, Co-Founder and CTO of Legably, reconnected with MassChallenge in 2020 as an Alumni-in-Residence. After being a founder in the 2019 Rhode Island cohort and winning gold, he is back and ready to (virtually) make a difference within the 2020 startups.
In this Q&A, Bill shares his startup’s story and reminisces on his time as a MassChallenge startup founder.
Q: How did you come up with the idea behind the company?
A: Our co-founder, Dan Reilly, was practicing as an attorney in Providence, Rhode Island and handling trust and estate work involving clients moving to other states. He needed counsel in other locations to handle certain work and found that finding them on Google and calling them out of the blue, while mailing them a check for work performed, was extremely inefficient.
Q: What are some early stories you encountered that helped you understand the pain point you’d like to solve?
A: We spoke with more and more attorneys who were facing issues growing their practice, while also increasing their “virtual practice of law”. They were looking for a solution that allowed them to flexibly grow their practices and increase their bottom lines.
Q: What pain point are you solving?
A: Allowing those seeking legal expertise for freelance projects and salaried positions to quickly and easily find those attorneys who meet their criteria and easily hire them to do the work.
Q: What is the company’s unfair competitive advantage? Why will it be sustained?
A: We are the largest network of lawyers not looking to compete with staffing firms or other players in the market - we are just trying to connect lawyers with other lawyers for short-term projects.
Q: How has MassChallenge impacted the future of your company?
A: Looking back, it is hard to conceive how we would have gotten to this point without being part of the 2019 MassChallenge cohort. We gained valuable perspective on how to grow and scale our business and were validated by mentors and advisors in areas we weren’t confident in, while being challenged in others. The amount of support, guidance, and camaraderie we received from staff, mentors, and other startups was unprecedented and, without a doubt, was unavailable outside the program (and I’ll admit, winning some money helped as well).
Q: What milestones has your company already hit? What are future milestones that mark growth?
A: We have successfully launched our marketplace and grown it to include several thousand attorneys across all fifty US states. Our next milestones include launching a subscription-based offering for job posters that allows them to scale their use of our service while on-boarding even more attorneys throughout both the US and globally.
Q: What does success look like in your role?
A: Our goal is for both me and my co-founder to be able to work on Legably full-time, paid. Additionally, we are focusing on growing our customer base and increasing revenue while becoming cash-flow positive within the next 6 months. Adding features and functions to the company that differentiate ourselves from the competition while preserving/defending our market space. Also looking to bring on more team members, including full-stack developers, a designer, a QA/Dev Ops lead, a SDR and a sales lead, and eventually a dedicated COO and CFO.
Q: What was your experience like with MassChallenge Experts?
A: They are fanatics and one of the top reasons I would recommend MassChallenge to just about any other startup out there. They represent a diverse background and come with different skill sets, allowing you to bounce ideas (good and bad) off of them while gaining valuable advice you otherwise would not have received.
Q: Why are you returning to MassChallenge as an AiR?
A: I wanted to help 2020 founders in whatever way possible, sharing our experiences, strengths, and hopes, in addition to fostering a culture where questions of any type (technical, business, marketing, etc.) can be answered in a safe and secure environment without pre-judgement or attitude.