Entrepreneur Profile: Ned Gannon, eBrevia

Independent’s Entrepreneur Profiles celebrate people out there changing the world every day through their ventures.  We ask each entrepreneur a few questions to give us a little insight into their vision of the future, and their take on building a company.

This month, we feature Ned Gannon.  His venture, eBrevia is working to revolutionize the ways in which corporate attorneys work. eBrevia is leveraging the power of technology to help corporate attorneys perform routine tasks more quickly and effectively. 

What do they need from you, the community?

eBrevia is looking for additional Beta testers for its technology in law firms, in-house legal departments and business units dealing with extensive legal documents. The company is also always interested in chatting with software engineers, particularly with natural language processing experience, and entrepreneurial corporate attorneys with due diligence experience who may be interested in joining its growing team.

If you can help, email Ned at NGannon-at-eBrevia.com

Stay tuned to hear updates about Ned and his work with eBrevia as they become available.  

Questions for Ned:

Q: What Does Your Company Do?

A: eBrevia is commercializing natural language processing technology developed at a major research university to assist corporate attorneys in performing a variety of tasks more efficiently, accurately, and cost effectively.  Our software significantly reduces the time and cost to analyze legal documents by extracting and summarizing key provisions.  My co-founder, Adam Nguyen, and I are both corporate attorneys by training and friends from Harvard Law School so we understand firsthand the potential of technology to accelerate a number of legal tasks.  We see our software as the next step in a string of technological advances, such as word processing and redlining tools, which allow lawyers and other professionals to do more in less time.  The company’s software can be applied to legal due diligence, document & knowledge management, and document drafting for corporate law firms, in-house counsel, and business professionals dealing with extensive legal documents.

Q: When Did You Start Your Company? Why? 

A: We founded the company in July 2011 for basically three reasons: (i) a number of trends in the legal industry are significantly increasing the importance of value and efficiency in the provision of legal services both with respect to law firms and in-house legal departments, (ii) based on our experience as corporate attorneys we recognized a number of pain points where we thought technology could dramatically improve efficiency, accuracy, and cost effectiveness, and (iii) we identified a type of technology that has been successfully implemented in non-legal fields which we thought would be well-suited for the types of legal solutions we were contemplating.

Q: What are Your Funding Sources?

A: The company is primarily self-funded.  We were also fortunate to have been selected by Connecticut Innovations, the state’s quasi-public VC, to receive $25,000 as part of its inaugural TechStart Fund program. We anticipate raising outside financing in the near future.

Q: What Have the Top 3 Challenges Been in Your Start-up Process?  

A: No surprise here, but allocating time is one of the biggest challenges.  There are a lot of things to do on many different fronts which is challenging, but also makes the process fun and interesting.  We wear several different hats from one moment to the next.  Second, given the level of enthusiasm surrounding the technology, I’d say prioritizing market opportunities (i.e. which segments/applications to pursue in what order) has been challenging.  And third, we have to also remind ourselves to take an occasional break now and then.

Q: Define Entrepreneur

A: An entrepreneur is someone who identifies a potential need or desire as well as a potential solution and through hard work, resourcefulness, and intelligent risk-taking brings some form of each together in a scalable profitable way.

Q: Read any Good Books Lately?

A: I enjoy reading history so right now I’m in the middle of one of Winston Churchill’s diaries on World War II called “Their Finest Hour.”  It definitely puts the logistics and challenges associated with eBrevia into perspective.

Q:  What is Your Advice for an Entrepreneur Starting Out?

A:  Get started, make mistakes, learn from them, keep moving forward.

Q:  What is Your Favorite Entrepreneurship Quote?

A:  Not really so much an entrepreneurship quote, but when I was in high school I heard a song called “The River” by Garth Brooks.  A couple of the lines always stuck with me:

“So don’t you sit upon the shoreline
And say you’re satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide…”

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