Interview with Nnamdi Emelifeonwu, CEO and Founder of Define

We caught up with Nnamdi Emelifeonwu, CEO and founder of software start-up Define, to hear all about how a career in law resulted in a business idea to try and streamline processes for other firms…

Tell us about Define

Define is a software that plugs into MS Word and enables users to quickly access and amend defined terms, references and schedules in legal documents without the need for constant scrolling, multiple screens or hard copies. In essence, Define optimises the drafting and reviewing of legal documents on MS Word. Lawyers using Define have reported time savings of over 90% on repetitive and tedious tasks, as well as improved accuracy and reduced risk in the review and drafting process. Our customers include some of the world’s leading law firms and organisations such as Allen & Overy and Deloitte.

Why did you decide to start Define?

Having previously practiced as a Finance lawyer at a leading law firm in the UK for 4.5 years, I became quite frustrated with the inefficiencies inherent in some of the processes lawyers undertake day-to-day. In particular, given that lawyers’ spend most of their day on MS Word I was determined to find a solution that would make working on legal documents on Word more efficient so that lawyers can spend less time on mundane tasks (like looking up the meanings of defined terms) and a greater amount of time focussing on the high value, intellectual part of the work that their clients pay them for. In September 2017 I decided to leave practicing law and work full time on the solution that is now Define.

You’re appearing on The Secret Leaders’ podcast new business pitching segment called Represented, why did you decide to go on the podcast?

It’s no secret that black and ethnic minority founders are often overlooked when it comes to securing funding and the numbers are staggering (0.9% of founders in Europe are black, 0.5% get funding). Covid-19 has made things even worse as VCs are more focused on ensuring that their remaining dry powder can be accessed by their current portfolio of companies. Therefore, I was pleased to hear that the team at Secret Leaders were doing their bit to change the narrative and help black founders through their new segment ‘Represented’. We’re currently in the middle of a fundraise and although we’ve been lucky to receive commitments for over 60% of our target, the opportunity to pitch to some of the UK’s leading investors (like Nick Jenkins from Moonpig) was one that I could not turn down. I’m very glad we took part.

What does Define have coming up over the next few months?

Hopefully we can close our funding round and continue our growth. We’ve been lucky enough to secure some high-profile customers early on and we have some very promising pilots underway with several others. I really feel like there is so much more work to do and I am very excited about all the great ideas and plans we have in the pipeline. I am looking forward to redefining the way lawyers work on legal documents.


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