Enterprise Nation and Queen Mary University partner to deliver adviser tech hackathon

Enterprise Nation and Queen Mary University partner to deliver adviser tech hackathon

Posted: Tue 9th Mar 2021

When Enterprise Nation launched its adviser platform to link experts with small businesses looking for support, it wanted to pioneer its own advice tech solution.

One area of advice needed much more careful, nuanced digital attention - the law. The legal category of the adviser hub needed to better reflect the macro trends in the legal profession, but also allow the automated connection process between the lawyer and the SME to build in trust and understand key requirements without creating dropouts.

The business network and business support provider called a hackathon and approached Queen Mary's University's qLegal and computer science departments to develop four teams to attack the problem from both sides of the issue - the law and technology.

The idea was that the teams would include students from around the world studying AI and automation as well as a mixture of law undergraduates and graduates and submit their solutions to a panel of judges by 20 February.

'Often the simplest solutions really are the best'

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said:

"Exploring the possibilities of the system and understanding how subtle changes and a practical approach could make a dramatic difference was the aim of this exercise and we were impressed with all the solutions the groups submitted.

"But one stood out. It turned out to be the simplest and easiest to implement within the confines of our technology. Often the simplest solutions really are the best."

Karen Watton, qLegal director Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London School of Law, said:

"This was a great project to get involved with. One of the criticisms often thrown at educational institutions such as QMU is that a focus on academia does not prepare students for the world of work.

"Working with Enterprise Nation gave students realistic parameters to work within and while blue sky thinking was encouraged, it had to be quick to implement with existing technology and reflect a deep understanding of the legal profession through tiny tweaks. That's basically real-life work!"

Four teams battled it out over one weekend to be crowned the winners of the Enterprise Nation Hackathon. Each team were given the Hackathon task in December and spent time outside their day-to-day studies to work on the project. After two months of community research, surveys, prototypes and focus groups, the teams were ready to pitch.

Data students and lawyers dialled in far and wide to work on this project, including Dubai, Malta, Thailand, Singapore and the Caribbean.

  • Team 1, Hackathletes, presented a solution which explored how lawyers would appear higher in the marketplace search based on ratings and reviews.

  • Team 2, Hackattack presented a 'Tinder for SMEs' idea.

  • Team 3, Technelegal, developed an artificial intelligence (AI) solution, which relied heavily on AI questions guiding the user to the right match with the lawyer.

  • Team 4, Innovatie solutions, presented a mobile prototype for Enterprise Nation which would see lawyers and small firms connect based on need.

The winning solution from Hackathletes involved encouraging legal professionals to improve their profiles, increasing the category spread to improve the effectiveness of search returns.

They also suggested pulling in external references to improve trust before legal professionals have been reviewed on the Enterprise Nation platform, such as LinkedIn or Trust Pilot. They also developed clear but confidential relationship milestone functionality to encourage and effectively prompt SMEs to leave honest reviews.

The solution is expected to be incorporated into the adviser platform in the coming weeks.

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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