If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you already know how much we like space metaphors. There’s a sense of excitement and wonder they convey about exploring uncharted territory. Even our name, a combination of “knowledge” + “cosmos”, reflects our mission to map a knowledge network of the legal universe.

Microsoft_Accelerator_Horz_blkSo it’s only fitting that our newest partner, Microsoft Accelerator, also uses the space motif. Starting February 2nd, Knomos will be one of 10 startups from across North America participating in the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Program in Seattle. This year marks the Seattle program’s third cohort, focused on startups leveraging data science & deep machine learning technologies. You can read the official MS Ventures announcement here and a great write-up about the program and last year’s cohort in Fast Company.

Simply put: This. Is. Huge. Being backed by Microsoft is a game-changing opportunity for Knomos. Direct access to a global network of domain experts and industry leaders who see the potential of what we’re building sends a really strong signal about the long-term value of Knomos for the legal industry and beyond.

As a Vancouver-based startup, working with MS Ventures builds on our relationships with key provincial partners who are committed to seeing the next generation of BC Tech prosper, including the BC Developers’ Exchange, BCTIA, and BCIC. It also broadens support via our second home at LegalX, which is based at MaRS in Toronto and also has a presence in Hong Kong and Beijing.

So what does the whole “Accelerator” thing mean? The MS Ventures team explained it to us this way:

Come to us with goals, things you want to accomplish in the next year. Software development goals; branding & design goals; sales & partnership goals. And then let’s see how we can get it done in four months instead. 

As Seth Godin notes, sometimes you take a step forwards in your growth, and sometimes you take a flying leap!

To see just how far the MS Accelerator program can take a young startup, you don’t have to look any further than our fellow LegalX startup, and good friends, at Beagle.

“We [were] the Accelerator’s first Canadian company, and for us it’s just a huge validation […] we’ve already seen immense interest in our company as a result of being selected” – Cian O’Sullivan, Beagle Founder & “Top Dog”

Following “Demo Day“, the Accelerator program’s culminating event, Beagle has publicly launched its artificial intelligence platform for contractual analysis and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. What’s more, it’s a telling example of what startups and industry leaders can accomplish and learn from each other by working together to spur innovation in a legal industry that desperately needs to rise above the current status quo.

Another great reason why Knomos is being cited among global legal tech startups and a company to watch in 2016 and beyond.

Onwards & upwards!

Adam