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Baker Donelson is the latest Big Law firm to push into the legal technology space, with its Baker Donelson Cybersecurity Accelerator now mentoring two different cybersecurity startups.

Following its launch late last year, the accelerator now boasts a six-member mentorship team and its own cybersecurity conference, CyberCon, the second of which took place this past September and hosted cybersecurity experts from the U.S. and abroad.

The accelerator most recently added mobile credential software company Authomate to its program. Baker Donelson’s first partner, a startup focused on securing connected cars called RaceIQ, began working with the accelerator last May.

Baker Donelson partner Justin Daniels spearheaded the accelerator program. He told Legaltech News that after years of experience working with startup founders, he caught the entrepreneurial bug himself.

“Sometimes the people you represent rub off on you,” he said. “I felt it would be something that would help the community; it would be something to facilitate the relationships between the companies and the area’s Fortune 500 companies.”

The Atlanta-area community, Daniels said, is in many ways a perfect incubator for cybersecurity innovation. The area has deep roots to cybersecurity big hitters like SecureWorks and Managed Security Services, along with the workforce trained under former IBM president Tom Noonan. Atlanta also provides companies with connections to academic institutions like Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University; Cyber Command and NSA outposts in neighboring Augusta, Ga.; and a large concentration of major U.S. companies.

But while the area offers great assets to cybersecurity companies, Daniels finds that many cybersecurity experts, both internationally and domestically, have little understanding about the Atlanta community.

The Southeastern U.S. to them is like Mars,” he said. “There’s just a lack of awareness generally and internationally that Atlanta is one of the preeminent cybersecurity ecosystems in the world.

Daniels said that the accelerator and the CyberCon conference are part of an effort to not only support innovation in the cybersecurity space, but to bring that kind of critical recognition and investment into the Atlanta area.

The idea behind the accelerator is we’re basically connecting international and domestic growth-oriented cyber companies with mentorship, access to our law firm, access to our cyber-trained workforce, and due to the success of CyberCon, networking opportunities with CIOs and CISOs who could be potential customers for their product,” Daniels explained.

While startup accelerators offering nascent companies access to office space and sales networks are a popular staple of Silicon Valley, they’re less common outside of the bay area and almost never attached to law firms. One example is NextLaw Labs, a legal tech incubator managed by global law firm Dentons, which has a similar program designed to support tech startups with Big Law applications.

Jeff Schmidt, president and CEO of Authomate, said the mentorship program was the biggest draw for his company to partner with the Baker Donelson accelerator.

It’s the mentor program,” he said. “These guys have made a commitment to be part of what we’re doing, not just pass us off to a more junior level. They’re not just there to be lawyers for us; they’re there to help us succeed he said.

Though Schmidt has deep ties to Silicon Valley, he said the Atlanta ecosystem lives up to Daniels’ hype, especially with regard to the quality of the talent working in the area. The combination of experienced talent coming from some of Atlanta’s legacy cybersecurity companies and the newly-trained workforce coming out of schools like Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University make for a great startup teams.

There’s so much talent here that I think gets dismissed because it’s not Silicon Valley, and it’s not a Silicon Valley East like Boston,” he said, adding that, unlike both those areas, Atlanta’s tech labor force tends to want to put roots down, rather than hopping from company to company in search of the biggest possible paycheck.

Schmidt said that working with the accelerator and the community thus far has created some key growth for Authomate. He credits some of this to the accelerator’s honest work to support the company. “They get to grow with us as we grow forward. They didn’t throw a lot of hooks or requirements around us about what we had to do,” he said.

Overall, Schmidt finds that his work with the Baker Donelson accelerator and the Atlanta community really do form the kind of robust ecosystem that could launch the company to success. “People genuinely want other people to be successful here, and I think that’s a really cool thing,” he said.

Baker Donelson is the latest Big Law firm to push into the legal technology space, with its Baker Donelson Cybersecurity Accelerator now mentoring two different cybersecurity startups.

Following its launch late last year, the accelerator now boasts a six-member mentorship team and its own cybersecurity conference, CyberCon, the second of which took place this past September and hosted cybersecurity experts from the U.S. and abroad.

The accelerator most recently added mobile credential software company Authomate to its program. Baker Donelson ’s first partner, a startup focused on securing connected cars called RaceIQ, began working with the accelerator last May.

Baker Donelson partner Justin Daniels spearheaded the accelerator program. He told Legaltech News that after years of experience working with startup founders, he caught the entrepreneurial bug himself.

“Sometimes the people you represent rub off on you,” he said. “I felt it would be something that would help the community; it would be something to facilitate the relationships between the companies and the area’s Fortune 500 companies.”

The Atlanta-area community, Daniels said, is in many ways a perfect incubator for cybersecurity innovation. The area has deep roots to cybersecurity big hitters like SecureWorks and Managed Security Services, along with the workforce trained under former IBM president Tom Noonan. Atlanta also provides companies with connections to academic institutions like Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University; Cyber Command and NSA outposts in neighboring Augusta, Ga.; and a large concentration of major U.S. companies.

But while the area offers great assets to cybersecurity companies, Daniels finds that many cybersecurity experts, both internationally and domestically, have little understanding about the Atlanta community.

The Southeastern U.S. to them is like Mars,” he said. “There’s just a lack of awareness generally and internationally that Atlanta is one of the preeminent cybersecurity ecosystems in the world.

Daniels said that the accelerator and the CyberCon conference are part of an effort to not only support innovation in the cybersecurity space, but to bring that kind of critical recognition and investment into the Atlanta area.

The idea behind the accelerator is we’re basically connecting international and domestic growth-oriented cyber companies with mentorship, access to our law firm, access to our cyber-trained workforce, and due to the success of CyberCon, networking opportunities with CIOs and CISOs who could be potential customers for their product,” Daniels explained.

While startup accelerators offering nascent companies access to office space and sales networks are a popular staple of Silicon Valley, they’re less common outside of the bay area and almost never attached to law firms. One example is NextLaw Labs, a legal tech incubator managed by global law firm Dentons , which has a similar program designed to support tech startups with Big Law applications.

Jeff Schmidt, president and CEO of Authomate, said the mentorship program was the biggest draw for his company to partner with the Baker Donelson accelerator.

It’s the mentor program,” he said. “These guys have made a commitment to be part of what we’re doing, not just pass us off to a more junior level. They’re not just there to be lawyers for us; they’re there to help us succeed he said.

Though Schmidt has deep ties to Silicon Valley, he said the Atlanta ecosystem lives up to Daniels’ hype, especially with regard to the quality of the talent working in the area. The combination of experienced talent coming from some of Atlanta’s legacy cybersecurity companies and the newly-trained workforce coming out of schools like Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University make for a great startup teams.

There’s so much talent here that I think gets dismissed because it’s not Silicon Valley, and it’s not a Silicon Valley East like Boston,” he said, adding that, unlike both those areas, Atlanta’s tech labor force tends to want to put roots down, rather than hopping from company to company in search of the biggest possible paycheck.

Schmidt said that working with the accelerator and the community thus far has created some key growth for Authomate. He credits some of this to the accelerator’s honest work to support the company. “They get to grow with us as we grow forward. They didn’t throw a lot of hooks or requirements around us about what we had to do,” he said.

Overall, Schmidt finds that his work with the Baker Donelson accelerator and the Atlanta community really do form the kind of robust ecosystem that could launch the company to success. “People genuinely want other people to be successful here, and I think that’s a really cool thing,” he said.