Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright announced today that it is collaborating with Skalata Ventures, Australia’s first seed investment program to help early stage companies prepare to scale their businesses.
Skalata Ventures was established by leading business figures to support Australian entrepreneurship by helping founders build significant, sustainable and high quality companies. It provides bespoke support and up to $250,000 in funding to early stage companies using a program model based on international best practice and feedback from successful Australian founders and venture capitalists.
Skalata Ventures has received funding from LaunchVic, Victoria’s startup agency, and has partnerships with Deakin, La Trobe, Monash, RMIT and Swinburne universities. With this unique combination of government, university and business support, Skalata Ventures will assist over 60 early stage companies over the next three years.
Norton Rose Fulbright is Skalata Ventures’ principal legal partner and the preferred supplier of legal services to participating companies. The relationship with the firm was developed by new M&A and technology partner James Crowe, who joined the firm in October this year after working in the startup sector and previously leading Herbert Smith Freehills’ corporate team in Melbourne.
Mr Crowe commented:
“Having worked in the startup sector, I know from personal experience how challenging it can be to scale an early stage company. Skalata Ventures will help founders navigate this critical pre-venture capital stage. Norton Rose Fulbright’s global capability and strategic focus on technology and innovation make us a natural partner for Skalata Ventures and we look forward to supporting the next generation of great Australian companies.”
Skalata Venture’s Chairman, Paul Little AO, commented:
“At Skalata Ventures we bring together people and organisations that are passionate about supporting the Australian startup ecosystem through a seed investment program based on international best practice. This combination of global expertise and local passion is shared by Norton Rose Fulbright and we are delighted to welcome them as our first corporate partner.”
The announcement caps off a busy year of innovation for Norton Rose Fulbright in Australia. Among the new products and services it launched in 2018 are:
- NRF Transform | Risk Sonar – a secure and cost-effective cloud-based solution that uses data analytics to help organisations assess human rights and other risks in their supply chains;
- Deliver&Capture – a suite of products that use contract automation, online tools and mobile apps to provide contract management and claims management solutions for large construction projects; and
- Parker the privacy chatbot – an IBM Watson-powered AI tool for privacy law, the first chatbot of its kind to be developed by an Australian law firm.