Frequently Asked Questions
The MDR Lab Improve programme runs twice a year. The best way to determine when the programme is open for application is to check the programme page, there will be an ‘apply now’ button available for applications or details of when the application window is open and closed. Otherwise, check out our social media channels for more information.
We want to know about your product or service, your team and your company. Don’t hold back. The more we know the better equipped we are to make a decision.
There is a five step process after you have submitted your application:
- Application screening
- First round interviews
- Second round interviews (with relevant people from across the business)
- Offer & Onboarding
If there is interest on our side, we will be in touch within two weeks of receiving your application for an initial video call.
Unfortunately, due to the large volume of applications we can’t provide feedback on application results.
Each Improve programme application window will have its own deadline, this will be shown on the programme page when the relevant window is open.
Should I apply?
Our Improve programme is focused around early-stage startups working in the legal or relevant to legal practice spaces. However, we are open to hearing from startups at any stage as we always enjoy finding ways to work with startups.
Yes. But our experience is that one-person startups are tough and you’re more likely to succeed with a cofounder.
Of course! We have worked with a number of companies that have already taken on external funding before our Improve programme.
No. We believe that you will get more out of the programme when you are with us full-time.
We tend not to focus on definitions. We are interested in any company that has a touch points with the Law / Law firms. In the past we have worked with Cyber, FinTech, PropTech, RegTech and InsurTech too!
Safety of our staff and companies is our number one priority, we closely monitor UK Government advice and Mishcon de Reya protocols. We have been able to host programmes completely remotely. However, with changing guidance we are now able to return to our traditional ways of running the programme in our offices, we can discuss with you if you will be in our offices or would prefer to participate remotely and what that would look like before making any decisions.
Following the pandemic and the new world of remote working, we would consider participants taking part in the programme remotely. Historically, all start-ups must have the key members of their team including the CEO located in London for the programme.
We can provide sponsorship for visas. These are done on a case by case basis.
No. But we can provide advice and guidance to help make the process as easy as possible.
It’s quite simple really. We want to find technologies that can have an impact on our core business for us to use, and to identify commercial / investment opportunities. The overall goal of MDR Lab is to help startups leave our Lab in a better place than when they joined (for us this means they have better products, and access to the capital they need to move forward).
Our flagship Improve programme runs for 12 weeks. More details about the programme can be found here.
“We’ve crammed about 2 years of product development into 10 weeks”
Denis Anscomb, Index
Startups gain a lot of condensed experience through targeted mentoring and exposure to experts around the firm and beyond. We like to work with a few select startups in a mutually beneficial way. General benefits include:
- Support developing and building your company
- Piloting your product with Mishcon de Reya
- Receive mentoring from legal experts/ users at Mishcon de Reya through our office hours
- Gain insights from subject matter experts through a top-quality education programme
- Access funding from Mishcon de Reya
Mentors will include legal and business experts from Mishcon de Reya, entrepreneurs and external subject matter experts.
Each participant will have direct access to the programme team. You’ll work out a comms rhythm that suits you, be it daily or weekly check-ins, to make sure you are making progress and getting the most of the programme. We will then arrange office hours and further time for you to meet our wider team of lawyers, technologists, strategists and subject matter experts.
Unlike other programmes, there is no immediate equity requirement tied to the programme.
- For Improve: Given we like to roll our sleeves up and put skin in the game, we take an option to invest in your business. Each company will receive a bespoke investment offer before joining the programme. The terms of this offer will be made using a mutually agreed valuation of your business and must be agreed before you can start the programme.
Investment terms are agreed and finalised before joining our improve programme, a period after the programme will be set where we are able to invest should we chose to.
Once you have graduated from the programme you will become MDR Lab Alumnus, which means you can continue to access or firm and our people and we will continue to support you where needed. We aim to hold events throughout the year for Alumni, we may also call upon you to join us at events or workshops we hold for other purposes. We see this as a great way for us to keep connected with you.
All participants on our Improve programme own their IP, we do not take ownership.