International law firm Addleshaw Goddard has launched its search for the best high-growth tech businesses to join its AG Elevate programme – an accelerator for those looking to scale up.
- Winning a place on AG Elevate helped to fast- track growth for tech businesses Amiqus and Crysp.
- 2023/24 AG Elevate programme opens for applications
AG Elevate is a fast-track 10-month programme designed to advance tech businesses in all sectors of the economy through legal challenges that arise as they grow – and the 2023/24 programme is now open for applications.
Since it launched in 2017, the programme has supported almost 50 high-growth businesses – among them Amiqus and Crysp.
- Amiqus' Elevate story comes full circle
Back in 2019, Edinburgh-based Amiqus was one of nine businesses selected to join AG Elevate and has since not looked back – it now counts the firm, which gave it the opportunity on AG Elevate, as one of its newest clients.
Amiqus is a market-leading compliance platform helping businesses digitally manage onboarding and compliance for new clients and staff, and is one of the UK's fastest growing Fintech companies. The business began when CEO and founder Callum Murray noticed a gap in the market for a solution to complex, time-consuming and expensive compliance challenges, for businesses across sectors.
What he created is now Amiqus - which helps regulated businesses and organisations, including law firms, overcome practical obstacles in compliance and onboarding new clients or staff digitally.
As all entrepreneurs know, the journey from the Eureka moment to having a successful, sustainable business is fraught with difficulty and rarely follows a straight path. For the business, which specialises in the legal sector, being selected to participate in AG Elevate was an opportunity that came at the perfect stage in their growth journey.
Amiqus applied for a place on the programme and was selected by an independent panel for the 2019 cohort. If that was good fortune, giving Amiqus' product the opportunity to get insight behind the scenes at an international law firm was invaluable.
Along with the rest of the cohort, Amiqus was assigned a legal mentor and a package of legal support. Successful applicants also receive access to professional industry networks, bespoke resources designed by AG and the chance to build networks with like-minded people and businesses in the tech ecosystem.
That was in June 2019. Since then Amiqus has seen its turnover double year-on-year and its client list grow to include some of the leading organisations and professional services firms in the country. For good measure, Callum has recently been shortlisted as a regional finalist for EY's entrepreneur of the year.
Callum Murray, CEO at Amiqus, said: "The Elevate programme provided us not only with invaluable support and insights but also a great peer cohort of other high growth companies based around the UK. Going full circle and now supporting Addleshaw Goddard with our software is of course the icing on the proverbial law tech cake."
- Crysp goes sky high with a little help from friends
Crysp was one of nine businesses selected to join AG Elevate in 2021 and has since not looked back. Crysp supports businesses, educational institutions, construction and commercial property businesses with both digital and physical solutions, including document management, compliance tracking, e-learning and physical property audits.
Growing a business is never easy. Growing a business in the midst of a pandemic even less so but under the guidance of co-founders Pete Mills and Stuart Harlow, Crysp had a clear vision and a plan for how it would achieve its goals. Fast forward to 2023 and much of that vision has played out in reality – down to the hard work of Pete, Stuart and the wider team at Crysp. However, Pete would be the first to say that the business has also had a little help from its friends.
Designed to help high-growth tech businesses accelerate through the legal challenges that arise as an inevitable consequence of growing quickly, Pete and Stuart knew that many of those challenges awaited them, not least the need to secure investment to move to the next level.
The business applied for a place on the AG Elevate programme and was selected by an independent panel as one of 11 businesses in the 2021/2022 cohort. If that was a stroke of fortune, Crysp was even luckier to be assigned AG Corporate Partner Carly Gulliver as its mentor - Pete and Carly had trained together as lawyers more than 12 years previously before choosing different career paths.
That was in March 2021. Later that year Crysp secured strategic investment from Twinkl, the global digital educational platform founded by Jonathan Seaton in Sheffield - a deal that Carly advised on - and was benefiting from the support of both organisations.
Pete said: "I'm a firm believer that growing a successful business is all about building authentic relationships and having Carly act on the investment deal, having known her for so long, was really cool. But it is so much more than that.
"Being part of the AG Elevate programme helped us to accelerate our growth and get smarter legal insight. It gave us such a strong framework and a way of easily accessing the information we needed as a firm on our growth trajectory. For example, early on in the programme we had access to a research tool that was of huge help to us. And of course, there is simply the positive profile that comes from chosen for an initiative run by such a prestigious firm.
"The firm can be our partner right through every stage of what we believe will be an extremely successful journey, and for a Yorkshire business we couldn't see any other firm an offering that matched up to what AG had – Elevate was a big part of why we wanted to work with AG."
Carly Gulliver said: "Helping Pete and the team has been a great experience. We have a local approach linked to the national initiative, which allows us to make connections for businesses using our national footprint. It's not just the business side of things but the access to wider relationships that it brings and opening doors that might otherwise remain closed. Along with Crysp, we've worked with local and national businesses and its brilliant to be part of their journey."
Join the AG Elevate story
Elvan Hussein, Partner and co-lead of the AG Elevate programme, said: "It's great to see such success stories from the programme as those of Amiqus and Crysp. Our team of legal mentors have a comprehensive understanding of the priorities and potential obstacles that fast growing and scaling tech businesses encounter which provide substantial benefits to AG Elevate members beyond just legal input.
"Our mentors also possess a thorough understanding of the perspectives and motivations of technology investors and acquirers, which enables us to assist the businesses in achieving their commercial objectives. As innovation and disruption continue to be in high demand across all sectors, we are excited to see the businesses that can follow in Amiqus and Crysp's footsteps."
The application process for businesses that would like to be considered for the 2023 AG Elevate programme is open and can be found on the Addleshaw Goddard website.
To qualify for consideration for a place on the programme, businesses need to have existing plans for high-growth and have received external funding.
The package of support includes:
- An assigned legal mentor who will meet with you every month
- 25 hours of free legal advice on specialist areas
- Access to AG's legal seminars and networking events.
- Access to AG's legal updates and other publications
- Access to regular insight sessions hosted in collaboration with business mentors in our AG network
- All other legal advice offered by AG will be provided at 30% discount.
To find out more about the AG Elevate programme, including how to apply for a place, click here.
To find out more about Amiqus: amiqus.co
To find out more about Crysp: https://www.crysp.co.uk/