A Māori-led online start-up aims to take the pain out of finding a lawyer.
Once you're registered on ture.co.nz, simply type in the legal service you're after – currently property, trusts and wills – include a few other details and a list of lawyers who can help, including their cost, pops up.
Ture is the brainchild of lawyer Julia Steenson and co-founders Eve Steenson and Sharon Ainsworth. Julia says they want Ture to provide a better way for everyday people to have easy access to - and knowledge of - legal services.
"On the flip side, I also understand the pressure legal practitioners are put under to find new clients and grow their firms. The digital revolution posed an obvious place to provide a win-win solution. Hence, the concept for Ture was born," she says.
To ensure the venture of success, Ture is one of nine technology-focused start-ups taking part in Kōkiri, a Māori business acceleration programme, based on kaupapa Māori values and focused on accelerating early-stage Māori led start-ups.
The intensive three-month programme is hosted by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and aims at accelerating market entry for those taking part.
Teams receive mentoring, education, founder capability development, and networking opportunities, along with a support package including a start-up grant of $10,000, additional travel assistance, and accommodation during the live-in residential periods.
Julia says Kōkiri has been a huge benefit to the fledgling business.
"It's already exceeded my expectations and we're only half way through," she says.
"We were attracted to it because it's Māori, but also we are at a point where we need to structure how to take it to the next level. Skills such as product validation and solution validation. Am I providing the right product and the right solution?"
The networking opportunities have also been beneficial, she says.
"It really showed me the importance of networking. One of the networks they provide access is to the GAN (Global Accelerator Network) out of the US and there are so many benefits being part of that."
Julia says the idea for Ture came from her previous role as general counsel for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa where she was often asked for help on private legal issues. However, she was only allowed to work for her employer and only able to make recommendations for other lawyers.
"They also expressed to me a lack of confidence to directly approach lawyers themselves, with the main concern being the unknown costs."
Some of those concerns have been tackled by Ture and Julia says it won't be long before they go live.
"We believe in the product and have tested it with the market and are looking to launch soon."