International Win-Win from BMOE Boot-camp


May 9, 2016



UC Berkeley students & LegisPactum (Germany)


Gerald Hoff (left) and UC Berkeley team taking the toothpick and marshmallow challenge at bootcamp spring 2016

In December 2015, an enterprising young German entrepreneur, Gerald Hoff, met Ken Singer, Managing Director of the Sutardja Center, in Berlin, Germany, and shared his story about his brand new start-up, LegisPactum, which was developing a digital legal document creation and management platform targeted at lawyers and law firms. Ken invited Gerald to join the UC Berkeley Sutardja Center Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship boot-camp January 11 – 14, 2016 to learn more about how to build a successful start-up, and to interact with SCET faculty, Silicon Valley mentors, and UC Berkeley students.

Gerald arrived in Berkeley to participate in the January 2016 BMOE boot-camp with a concept, a pitch deck, and some lines of code. He left one week later ready to launch his business with a venture plan including a defined value proposition, a business model, identification of the target customers and competition, and a go-to-market strategy. In return, the UC Berkeley BMOE students who worked with Gerald had the opportunity to interact with a global entrepreneur and work on building a real global business.

Six boot-camp students who signed up to join the Legis-Pactum boot-camp team were completely engaged with the venture from day one, and a great team spirit emerged. During the boot-camp, they dedicated themselves to developing the Legis-Pactum’s business by collecting market information about the legal systems of 7 countries which were the target markets for Legis-Pactum, conceptualizing the product, and building out the go-to-market strategy. One of the student’s parents were lawyers in the US who provided even more insights into the US legal market which is much more digitized than its counterparts in Europe.

“BMOE Boot-camp was an innovative entrepreneur’s dream. There were bright student resources, space to work, fast Internet, and over 50 smart, experienced mentors, investors, and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley to engage with during this early stage of my start-up. The mentors asked many difficult questions we learned we needed to answer. Where else in the world would you have this??” – Gerald Hoff, Founder of Legis-Pactum, a legal document platform based in Berlin, Germany.

Moving forward, Legis-Pactum will be launching a beta of its product in Q2 of 2016 to a select group of target customers. Meanwhile, through their interactions with Gerald, two of the UC Berkeley students from the Legis-Pactum team are now headed to Europe during summer 2016 to experience the Berlin start-up eco-system with internships at Legis-Pactum and Earlybird Ventures (German VC).

The next Sutardja Center Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship boot-camp (IEOR 192 class) will be held during UC Berkeley Autumn 2016 semester (August 15 – 19, 2016) and there will be a number of international participants from Hong Kong, Canada, Taiwan, Netherlands, and other countries to provide more global perspectives and interactions for the UC Berkeley students to learn about and engage in. Email Gigi Wang, BMOE Boot-camp Chair, for more info.