BOULDER — Tech startup Congo.io, an online marketplace for legal advice, has rebranded as Lawbooth – a name that didn’t come from the more than 700 contest entries it received earlier this fall.
The company provides an online platform for people seeking legal advice to schedule time with an attorney and connect for free via video chat. The Congo name meant Consulting on the Go.
Started in the spring semester of 2013 as a school project in an entrepreneurial class at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, Congo was named the Boulder Chamber’s 2014 Venture of the Year, now has five employees and is headquartered at Galvanize’s Boulder campus at 1035 Pearl St. Congo recently closed a $250,000 seed round of funding to be used to help it expand beyond Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver into the rest of the state.
The quest for a new name began because co-founders Willy Ogorzaly and Tyler Cox were faced with a difficult decision: pay $750,000 for the Congo.com domain, which was being squatted on by domain holding company DigiMedia, or go through the process of rebranding.
So Congo offered individuals the opportunity to submit name suggestions for the chance to win $1,000. Since the new name wasn’t selected from those entries, however, Ogorzaly and Cox are donating the offered $1,000 prize to select local charities.
“We couldn’t be more excited about our rebrand to Lawbooth.com,” Ogorzaly said. “It wasn’t a process we initially expected to undergo, but we are happy with the outcome and glad to have saved $750,000 to continue building a platform that will help those in need of legal advice.”
The only contest requirement was that the URL associated with the submission had to be a dot-com domain available for less than $3,000. When the co-founders discovered that Lawbooth.com was available for $1,780, it seemed like a perfect fit.
“In the end, our final decision around the new name didn’t come to us from the contest,” Cox said, “but we were very grateful for all of the submissions we received as they contributed to us ultimately finding our new brand name. So instead of keeping the $1,000 for ourselves, we decided to donate it to a few of our favorite nonprofits.”
Lawbooth turned to its supporters to vote on how to allocate the donation between four charities: Charity Water, which builds wells in Third World countries to provide access to clean drinking water; TechStars GiveFirst Hackfest, a local event that pairs developers and nonprofits to create otherwise cost-prohibitive tech solutions over the course of a weekend; Billy Burchard Foundation, which awards grants to organizations looking for anti-cancer therapeutics with an emphasis on pancreatic cancer; and Donors Choose, which makes it easy to support classrooms in need by enabling public-school teachers to post requests for resources. Lawbooth is to donate to each of the organizations by the end of the year.
In 2016, Lawbooth plans to expand its offerings to include more attorneys in the Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver areas. Attorneys pay a monthly subscription fee to list their services and appointment schedules on the site, and users can access it for free, paying the attorneys directly.