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Boston based digital product design studio, FoundationLab, has acquired Functional Imperative, an application development company out of Toronto, Canada. The acquisition positions FoundationLab as the leading legal tech focused design and development company in North America.
FoundationLab was launched in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Eric Sullivan. Eric has built and sold multiples companies in his young career, primarily in the technology space. Later that year, Eric was joined by Mike Cappucci former co-founder and CEO of Baked & Branded (acquired 2014). The two have come together to create a product design studio that emphasizes validation through rapid prototyping and testing before conducting any design or development work. They have spent most of 2016 building a collaborative product team of passionate strategists, designers and developers. FoundationLab works with clients in different stages and across multiple industries, but have focused much of their efforts in the legal technology space, and with a growing list of law firms and legal tech startup clients — will continue to do so.
The acquisition of Functional Imperative comes with numerous benefits to FoundationLab, beginning with a presence in the Toronto market. Rich with legal tech startups and forward thinking law firms, FoundationLab hopes to leverage the existing network that Functional Imperative has created, and continue to drive legal innovation in Canada. “We’re incredibly excited by the opportunity to break into the Canadian market and are thankful for the hard work done by the Functional Imperative team to carve out a space in legal tech.” Eric Sullivan, CEO of FoundationLab.
Functional Imperative founder, Joshua Borts will remain an advisor during the transition, and Eamon Coen, Head of Sales will continue to serve existing clients and support sales operations in Canada. “We couldn’t be more pleased with what our team has accomplished over the past couple of years. We’re confident that FoundationLab will be able to continue our work in Canada, specifically in the legal tech space.” Josh Borts, CEO of Functional Imperative.
The FoundationLab team has been growing since its inception in 2015, and with this latest acquisition, now have operations in Boston (HQ), Toronto and Costa Rica.
About FoundationLab: FoundationLab is a Boston based digital product design studio with a strong focus in legal technology. The team has brought their expertise in User Experience strategy/design and development to the legal industry, building products for US based firms and legal tech startups.
About Functional Imperative: Functional Imperative is a Toronto based development company. They have been working in the legal technology space in Canada for several years now, building products for law firms and Canadian governmental organizations.
For media inquiries contact: Hello@foundationlab.co
FoundationLab acquires Toronto based Functional Imperative was originally published in FoundationLab Digest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Boston based digital product design studio, FoundationLab, has acquired Functional Imperative, an application development company out...Read Article
2016 has truly been an exciting year for us at FoundationLab. After reuniting with my longtime business partner, Mike Cappucci — we quickly rebranded (previously Spelunk Works) and got to work on a company that we could see ourselves building for the next 10+ years. What I love most about being an entrepreneur is the unique challenges that come with creating something new. While it’s important to maintain vision, we wanted to be hyper focused on the things we hoped to accomplish in 2016: (1) building an amazing product team, (2) doing great work for current clients, (3) establishing relationships with new awesome clients.
As I reflect on 2016, the team that we have built might be what excites me most about our future. We started by establishing an engineering team in Costa Rica. I’ve spent years working with development teams all over the world and could not be more pleased with the team we’ve built this year. As a collaborative product team, our engineers can’t be just order takers. They have to be able to dive into a project early and help problem solve. We’ve seen the members of our team grow into critical thinkers and contributors to overall strategy on projects. They’re also wonderful, hard working people with similar values. Oh and it doesn’t hurt that Costa Rica is an incredible place to visit!
With Mike handling much of our product strategy work, we needed to fill the design and product management gaps. Again, we were looking for people that understood the product process and could communicate effectively within a product team. We were super lucky to find great people to fill those roles and will continue to add more amazing designers and product managers in Boston as we scale up.
Note: if this is you, hit us up!
To support our growing team and be closer to our clients, we made the move from our co-working space in Quincy to a space in Downtown Crossing (Innovation Crossing?). We’re at 55 Temple Pl between Washington St and Tremont St. The move puts us at center of Boston tech and innovation, but has also provided us with some space to spread our wings and start to build something we’ve been talking about for awhile — an incubator. We love the co-working spaces for the energy that they bring every single day. So starting in 2017, we’ll be offering space to young companies building cool products!
Another point of reflection for me in 2016 has been the clients that we’ve worked with. A couple of our startup clients have raised new rounds of funding and continue to grow. We launched a brand new e-learning application for a non-profit. And have really started to establish ourselves in the legal industry, working with a couple major firms in the second half of 2016. Legal will continue to be a focus for us in 2017, as we support firms and legal tech makers to drive innovation in an industry that is in desperate need of it.
One of the hardest parts of building a company is avoiding the shiny objects. I outlined our 3 goals earlier and stated that we wanted to be hyper focused. Acquiring a Canadian development company was NOT on that list. But sometimes shiny objects, upon further examination, can be truly valuable. So in Q3 of this year, after a few months of conversations, we acquired Functional Imperative, a development company based in Toronto who has allocated much of their effort in the legal tech space. This move has expanded our footprint into Canada, brought in some cool new clients, and established FoundationLab as the largest product design company tackling the legal industry in North America. This acquisition was certainly not on the road map for 2016, but it’s been an exciting experience for us and we look forward to expanding our reach in the Canadian market in 2017.
This year was all about building a stable foundation (again — pun intended). By focusing on 3 core activities, we are now prepared for what we expect will be a significant growth year. We hope to find some challenging new projects, add to our collaborative product team, and maybe launch a product of our own (stay tuned). We’ll remain hyper focused, but if 2016 is any indicator of our energy and pace, 2017 should be a super fun year for the FoundationLab team! I am certainly looking forward to the future.
2016 has truly been an exciting year for us at FoundationLab. After reuniting with my longtime...Read Article
The back-of-house operations for businesses can be challenging as you scale for growth. It’s important to establish a basic set of parameters to maintain accountability and open communication.
As a company grows, so too will the structure and day-to-day operations evolve. Adapting for success will be something that will never end. How do you manage growth of your business? How do you introduce new employees to your system, and then expand that experience to multiple offices around the world? With every person who is apart of a business it is key to make sure that the team is on the same page.
How does FoundationLab accomplish this? We start by establishing a set of processes in place to make sure that there is consistency. This can be everything from how a sales cycle operates down to when we post a blog post and how we effectively market it.
Execution is Everything
Process is a great thing when. With proper training a business can run like a well oiled machine. But just coming up with the process is not enough. Checks must be implemented to ensure everyone is following procedure as — it’s only way to know what is and isn’t working. Something might sound good in theory until you start to execute it in practice. You will only know what works and what doesn’t by to integrate as prode but until it is implemented you will never know. Reassess your operational procedures at regular intervals (quarterly, bi-annually) to make sure that what you and your team are doing still makes sense.
For example, as a company continues to grow a lot of times the process that worked when they were a 5 person shop to when they are a 20 person shop will not work and changes will need to be made. But complacency is a company killer so always be re-evaluating and making the appropriate adjustments.
Don’t Over Complicate Things
Once a process has been implemented and you can see it in action and make adjustments accordingly. But simplicity is key! So many times companies over process even the simplest task where it then is working against them.
Here is an example say its the sales cycle for when a new lead comes in. I have outlined steps of what the typical sales cycle could look like:
This is pretty similar to what our sales cycle looks like here at FoundationLab. But many times there is other meetings need to happen say to get clarity on some specific features for an application or if the client decides to change the scope or pivot their idea. You can’t build an exact process that will account for all of this. But it can be task dependent where say it’s the format of the statement of work. Making sure to fill out all the sections correctly.
Change is Constant. Change is your friend.
Like anything in life it will be ever changing which isn’t a bad thing. Just keep an open mind, be prepared for constant feedback and iterating until you have a system that works for you and your team.
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The Importance of Process to Keep Operations Seamless & Scalable was originally published in FoundationLab Digest on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
The back-of-house operations for businesses can be challenging as you scale for growth. It’s important to...Read Article
The team's experience in moving from idea to product is really evident in their work. They have a strong understanding of user experience design and have been a great asset to our team. Boris Revsin, CEO of Northlabs