The IXA Valorisation Fund has made 75 thousand euros available to the Amsterdam Law School for a start-up programme in the new Law Hub. Part of this budget will be used to hold a “Challenge”: a competition in which students, staff, and alumni pitch ideas for law-related businesses.
The Law Hub’s start-up programme is a component part of the Amsterdam Law Practice, a part of the curriculum that aims to bridge the gap between academia and society. The start-up programme aims to provide professional coaching to students, staff, and alumni in setting up successful businesses in the legal and legal services sectors. All kinds of start-up can participate, but the main focus will be on businesses that both aim to make the law accessible to a broader public and make a social impact.
Nathalie Dijkman, coordinator: “Students who choose the law often think that the only route available is to become a lawyer. With this start-up programme, we hope that both students and staff will feel inspired to pursue ideas relating to justice and access to the law. For instance, a modest-sized business that develops an app for drafting contracts. Or a start-up that gets innovation processes up and running for the police.”
The idea of generating legal innovations is not new, according to Dijkman. “The Ministry of Justice, for instance, even puts its innovation issues out to contract. How should we tackle safety issues? How do you improve police services? The Ministry even recently organised a large-scale innovation conference. With this programme, we hope to develop that type of innovative thinking throughout the faculty.”
The funding that the IXA (Innovation Exchange Amsterdam) has made available for this programme will be used for various purposes. There will be a “Challenge” in which students, staff, and alumni participate by pitching their ideas for law-related start-ups.
Some of the investment will also be used to offer professional coaching to successful Challenge entries - from idea to business with a social impact. And finally, a portion of the funding will be reserved for enriching the Hub community with a mentor network of (legal) innovation experts and events such as sessions on the future of the law.