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The Review

Founder Spotlight: Derek Hopfner


DMZ Accelerator 8 Founder of Founded walks us through his entrepreneurial journey.

The digital age puts customers first.

It is crucial that the legal ecosystem uses technology to create seamless experiences for customers.

According to a recent report found by Canadian Lawyer, the legal industry is worth $30 billion in Canada. Despite being one of the slowest industries to adopt technology, the emergence of legal startups today is unprecedented, and Canada needs to keep up as there are ample opportunities for innovation within the sector.

Derek Hopfner and co-founder Shane Murphy were practicing lawyers prior to starting Founded. Their third co-founder, Travis Houlette, had previously started his own company and sold it to Yahoo. Throughout that process, Travis felt the experience was not as transparent as he expected it to be, so the trio decided to dig into finding solutions to make the legal experience faster, more efficient and collaborative for entrepreneurs.

Simplicity, innovation and trust are the company’s main values. A key factor to Founded’s success is their online platform that automates business legal workflows: from generating documents and capturing eSignatures, to filings with government and making legal work easily accessible.

Originally focused on automating routine legal work for small business and startups, Founded now extends its reach to law firms. They work with more than 1000+ businesses, law firms, accounting firms and large enterprises to automate legal tasks like incorporating, ongoing company compliance, government filings and legal agreements.

The Founded user experience is unlike any other due to the diverse mix of legal and non-legal experience the employees of the company have. According to Hopfner, hiring people who have no previous experience in the legal industry makes their product more digestible for the masses and creates more streamlined experiences.  

“No one cares that you’re building anything. When you’re building a product, you have to think about your sales distribution channels,” says Hopfner. “You have to be building a product for a specific audience, and understand how your target market will consume it in a really easy way.”

While navigating legal jargon may not seem like an exciting endeavour for users, Founded aims to change that. “Our goal is to make the legal side of business effortless. When using Founded, entrepreneurs have a better understanding of their legal work and company data, while saving time and money.”  

The only problem with innovation in the legal industry is that there are established models such as billing that do not prioritize efficiencies especially if work is being charged at an hourly rate. With Founded’s technology, entrepreneurs take charge with the ability to translate complex legal concepts into straightforward language in a fast and effective manner.  

Want to learn more about Founded? Visit their website.
Instagram: @FoundedHQ