#19 – AI, CONTRACTS AND A LEGAL DISRUPTION – ANDY ABBOTT/HERETIK



For every deal, there’s a document.  Actually, potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of them.  But thriving Chicago startup Heretik is leveraging AI to help the legal world search, sort through and analyze contracts, dramatically cutting the time and money spent in contract review.

The work has always been done manually, with lawyers and paralegals opening documents one at a time, reading each clause, section or paragraph, then copying and pasting into Excel for review.

“It’s a very tedious process. It takes weeks, some times months to go through, and we’re bringing in some artificial intelligence to streamline that to take those months down to days, sometimes hours,” says Andy Abbott, co-founder and CTO of Heretik.

Abbott is the featured guest on the latest edition of Series A-The Podcast, recorded at 1871 in Chicago.

“For global enterprises, any deal can mean hundreds of thousands if not millions of documents for complete viewpoint of risk and obligations,” Abbott tells Microsoft technical evangelist Martin Schray and producer/correspondent Josh Kerns.

It’s his second venture as a founder.  His first company Booked Out was acquired by Shiftgig, leaving Abbott wondering what to do next.

“I realized I didn’t want to work at a larger company. I still wanted to do that entrepreneurial thing,” he says.

Abbott’s experiences have served him well with his new venture.

“Obviously the second time you have a lot of lessons that you’ve learned, mistakes that you’ve made previously and it is easier,” he says.

Abbott offers a myriad of insights for his fellow founders, from product development to sales.  His revelation the company created no code for months while connecting with potential customers and truly understanding their needs before building a solution is among the eye-opening tidbits.

“What happens a lot is you focus on building that product first and then when you go out to share it, to give it to your customers, you hit these roadblocks.”

Abbott also details lessons learned bringing disruption to old-school industries like the legal field used to doing things manually.

“If you’re going to introduce change or bring in technology to a space that isn’t used to it, they’re going to push back. And so how can we reduce that push back?”

Listen to the latest edition of Series A-The Podcast to learn how Heretik is overcoming that, and making a major mark on the law.


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