Frequently Asked Questions

Application process

Each MDR LAB programme has its own application timeframe. The best way to determine which program is open for application and is most relevant to your startup is the programmes page where you’ll see a list of all open applications.

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:

  1. Application screening
  2. First round interviews
  3. Second round interviews (with relevant people from across the business)
  4. Selection
  5. 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.

The Launch programme runs twice a year so keep an eye on the Programmes page for upcoming deadlines. The Improve programme runs all year round, as does the Sell programme which is due to launch in 2021.

Should I apply?

We want to work with startups at different stages.

See our Programmes page to find out which programme will be most relevant to you or your business.

Yes. But our experience is that one-person startups are tough and you’re more likely to succeed with a cofounder.

Yes please! We choose people based on the quality of their ideas.

Our thesis is that MDR LAB can help plug the technical gaps of your venture, until you are ready to launch the business and hire your team.

No – we can take care of this after your midway pitch.

For Launch, no. For Improve and Sell, sure. We’ve worked with a number of companies who have taken on external funding.

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 too!


Safety is our number one priority, so we will start running the programme remotely. This means interviews, office hours and events will be done via video conferences. We’ve seen a number of programmes continue this way and still provide excellent experiences and outcomes for participants. We will continue to monitor the situation before making a decision about whether we return to the office.

Whilst we are remote, of course! Historically, all startups must have the majority 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).

Founders Factory will be collaborating to provide coaching to entrepreneurs from operational experts across fields including product, growth, fundraising and more. They have built and scaled 150 startups over the past four years.

The combination of Mishcon de Reya’s deep legal expertise and experience working with early stage LegalTech businesses, and Founders Factory’s operational experience building and scaling ventures is an exciting proposition. Together, we are aligned in our objective to help empower the next generation of LegalTech companies, and felt like we could really make a difference to the sector.

  • Launch is 5 months.
  • Improve is between 10-14 weeks.
  • Sell is about getting to a conclusion as quickly as possible and is normally a 2-4-week programme.

More details on each of the programmes can be found here.

Each programme works slightly differently (you can learn more about each of them here). However, the common theme is that we spend a lot of time working with you on your products.

“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:

  1. Support developing and building your company
  2. Piloting your product with Mishcon de Reya
  3. Receive mentoring from legal experts/ users at Mishcon de Reya through our office hours
  4. Gain insights from subject matter experts through a top-quality education programme
  5. Access funding from Mishcon de Reya

Mentors will include legal and business experts from Mishcon de Reya, entrepreneurs and external subject matter experts. We will also facilitate access to Founders Factory’s team of operators found here.

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. The terms of each programme are slightly different:

  • For Launch: Individuals that join will be paid a monthly stipend for the first 2 months. This is yours to keep. If your company is successful after the midway presentation, we will then invest in your business.
  • 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.
  • For Sell: This is focused on us being a user/ customer but let us know if you’d like us to consider investing in your business.

For Launch, this will happen in month three. For Improve, investment terms will be finalised before you join the programme.

Once graduated, you’ll become an MDR Alumnus, which means you can continue to access our firm and our people. Once we are back to normal, we will be hosting an annual dinner for participants of all programmes. We see these as a great way to get together, share updates and discuss current trends in the market.

For startups on Improve or Sell, you do.

For participants of the Launch programme, all IP is assigned to the NewCo – which happens mid-way through the programme.