Startup Directory


Gregg Rivkind ‘16BUS

Four years ago, when I sold my healthcare distribution business, the deal almost died right before closing because of a licensing issue. Nobody at the company, myself included, was aware of the issue until the buyer’s attorney, in the course of his due diligence, raised a red flag that threatened to kill the deal. Ultimately, we were able to address the issue and had a successful closing. But we all probably lost a little hair and chewed some fingernails during those touch-and-go moments leading up to closing.

As it turned out, the problem could have been avoided if we had the right professional advisers and we had them communicating and collaborating with one another. That got me thinking – do other small businesses have the same problem? Following the sale of my business, I spent three more years in the healthcare industry running what was my legacy business on behalf of the buyer.

I used this time to meet with hundreds of business owners in the industry to pick their brains about what keeps them awake at night. Besides competition, every business owner I spoke with said compliance and risk management issues are at the top of the list of things that keep them awake at night. At first, I asked very open-ended questions such as “what keeps you up at night?” and “how would you solve the problem?” Having the right professional advisers at the right price and having these advisers “in the same room” working for the benefit of the business was mentioned a number of times.

The idea for CommonCounsel was born. CommonCounsel matches customers with professional advisers (i.e., lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, bankers, etc.) through people you already know and trust, allows for the team of professional advisers and businesses to communicate and collaborate on the platform and, through machine learning and natural language processing, generates insights leading to curated recommendations for compliance and risk management. We allow business owners and their management teams to focus on running their business while we take care of everything else.

We completed the design phase and began the development phase in early May. Development time is expected to be 2-2.5 months with an expected launch date of July 18th. During the development phase, we are working with customers to help match them “offline” with professional advisers. The first version of the product will provide the matching service with an initial focus on attorneys. Future iterations will include the matching service for other professional service providers, the communication and collaboration platform, and machine learning for curated recommendations.

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