Interview With Keith Fraser
Describe your product or service:
e-gree is a mobile application that allows users to create, negotiate, sign, and manage legal contracts covering a broad range of legal subjects. e-gree provides a social community that allows its users to interact and transact with others globally in a legal fashion without the use of and need for lawyers. e-gree aims to provide an alternative to the legal system for those who understand the need to protect their legal rights but who are otherwise unable to afford or access the present legal system to secure their legal rights.
Describe your company culture in 3 words:
global, innovative, collaborative
Describe your company values in one sentence:
Our values reflect the importance of entrepreneurship and the emergence of what we see as a global, interconnected economy and culture. It is one that is less reliant and less focused on the individual and more focused on the collective and the community.
How are you funded?
angels, seed round from venture capital.
How big is your team?
approx. 15 people.
Tell us about your team:
Ilya and Araz are successful entrepreneurs with several technology ventures under their belts. Keith is a lawyer whose practice has been dedicated to representing entrepreneurs, artists, creative people and small businesses with their intellectual property.
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
The need and desire to improve the legal system.
How did you come up with your startup idea?
Keith was representing Araz in a litigation against a large company and both witnessed and experienced the inequities inherent in the legal justice system as well as the outdated, archaic manner in which the legal system operated. They decided to do something about it.
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
e-gree is a play on "agree" with a reference to the technology aspect.
What is something that makes your company unique?
We aim to disrupt the legal industry by essentially privatizing it. The current legal systems are rooted in notions of venue, standing, jurisdiction, precedent. All of these are inconsistent with the way that people are now connected and now they transact and interact. Most legal tech companies focus on providing services that improve the ability of people to access and/or use the current legal system. We aim to change the legal system and essentially create a new one that operates within a social network all contained within e-gree.
Who is your product or service made for?
This is a consumer to consumer company. Our customers are those who are comfortable with tech and who are aware of the need to protect their legal rights but may be unsure or unwilling to pay the high costs currently associated with protecting such legal rights.
What's your marketing strategy?
We use social media and influencers to help spread the word.
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
We had early press releases regarding our launch. One of our advisory board members is Natalia Vodianova, a philanthropist, investor, and well known model. She was featured in various press interviews where she spoke about e-gree.
How do you track your progress?
Daily metrics regarding downloads and other information regarding use of the app.
How has your approach to business changed from when you started to now?
The issues to manage have increased and we have designated tasks and responsibilities amongst the founders who are trusted to manage their particular areas. We then have weekly conferences to update everyone.
What’s the #1 resource you rely on for success?
Our passion to make change to and improve a system that affects everyone.
If you could go back in time and change anything about your entrepreneurial journey, would you?
Upon reflection, you do recognize that there are little things that could have been different and perhaps resulted in quicker or better improvement to the product, but we have found also that it is not so important to execute things perfectly, but rather it is important to be open and to recognize opportunities and ready to make informed decisions. That is the exciting part of the journey.
What is the biggest lesson you learned during your journey?
As above, to keep the focus on the vision and aims of the company regardless of the flurry of activity that surrounds a start up venture.
Who is your support system?
My family and friends. It is important to spend time with them.
Who inspired you to start your business?
The history of business and technology companies in particular is full of innovative and inspiring individuals who have all had a hand in inspiring us. Change makers going all the way back to Henry Ford and up to and including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
What motivates you?
I am a lawyer and as such I feel an obligation to help people protect their legal rights. I want everyone to be able to engage with others in legal and business affairs confident that they are able to protect their rights in a quick, efficient, affordable way.
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success?
Trust your team and understand that you cannot do it all yourself. You have strengths that you bring to your team and other members/partners have their strengths. It is the realization that these strengths working together is what brings about success.
How do you define success?
Having customers using your service and being happy that your service exists for them to use.
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
As above, that there are people out there who have come across your company and like it and use it.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Think big. The world is changing fast and in a profound and revolutionary way. The world understands and is beginning to realize that there are a number of global issues coming down the pike over the next 100 years or so that will require a global concerted effort to meet and overcome. This includes, for example, diminishing natural resources, overpopulation, climate change. A global, connected culture is arising in part because of the understanding that these issues necessitate that we work together. Entrepreneurs should have this global focus in mind.
More on E-Gree
Startup company E-gree, which has created an app to protect legal documents, announced it raised $1 million to support business development and growth.