ABA Techshow

Universal Migrator snags first prize at ABA Techshow 2023’s Startup Alley competition

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Techshow 2023_Universal Migrator founder Tony Valenti

Tony Valenti is the founder of Universal Migrator, which won first prize Wednesday at the seventh annual Startup Alley pitch competition. Photo by Matt Reynolds.

Universal Migrator won first prize at the seventh annual Startup Alley pitch competition at the ABA Techshow 2023 on Wednesday evening after facing off against 14 other finalists.

Tony Valenti, the company’s 37-year-old founder, won after pitching to a packed ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. He had three minutes to sell his product to the audience, which voted by a mobile app at the end of the event for the winner.

Law firms can use Universal Migrator to easily switch from using one practice or document management platform to another by simplifying and automating data transfer and file backup systems. According to its website, Universal Migrator supports dozens of popular practice management systems.

Valenti said it was “very exciting” to hear that his company had won.

“It’s a great validation of the work we’ve been doing,” Valenti said.

Valenti said he thought that his pitch resonated with the voters because it has simplified the task of moving data from one practice management platform to another.

“We’ve done the work to standardize that data transition process. So it doesn’t matter which system you’re moving from or what system you want to move to—it’s an automated, seamless transition,” he said.

Valenti added that the product also makes data transfer easy for BigLaw firms that may feel stuck on their current practice management software but are wary of moving data to another platform, such as Clio or MyCase, because “it’s just too scary a thing to do.”

Follow along with the ABA Journal’s coverage of the ABA Techshow 2023 here.

“Universal Migrator is designed for law firms that are looking to migrate. It’s designed for IT consultants that want to migrate law firms, and it is designed for practice management companies that want to onboard firms quicker,” Valenti said.

The Startup Alley pitch competition is an ABA Techshow mainstay and kicked off the four-day event, which runs from Wednesday, March 1 to Saturday, March 4 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, as attendees listened to pitches from all 15 tech startups.

Intake portal DecisionVault came in second after founder Wouter IJgosse made his case. Attorney Kimberly Y. Bennett snagged third place after pitching Fidu, a platform for delivering subscription legal services and automating workflows.

Other companies that competed included contract management systems, legal research platforms and remote litigation tools.

Organizers made an initial call for entries in November 2022. A panel of judges narrowed down the startups to 40, and competition organizers received almost 81,000 votes on over 16,000 ballots to decide who would compete in Chicago.

Lawyer and journalist Robert Ambrogi hosted the curtain raiser and was honored for his decadeslong career covering legal tech.

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