London Met graduate Macchris was the overall winner of the Big Idea Challenge 2015 with his innovative online platform ‘Be My Lawyer’ – dedicated to legal tutorial services. Macchris Ilo who studied LLB Law with International Relations is now working on launching his business. We hear about he’s been getting on since winning the title…
Can you tell us a little about your business?
Be My Lawyer aims to empower people and give them the right to self representation as well as the right to affordable representation with any legal issues they may have. Online tutorial videos about various legal services help guide you every step of the way.
What have you learned since starting Be My Lawyer?
As an entrepreneur, you need to face hard decisions on a daily basis. I learned how to take leadership and how to make tough decisions. It’s all about how to say ‘no’, and how to say ‘go’. You should never give up on your vision but always be ready to adapt your project. It has been a constant learning experience for me.
How have your studies at London Met helped you get to where you are today?
It was the best decision I have made so far. My professors were inspiring and taught me so much. London Met expanded my horizons in the way I think. Some of the incredible professors I had the opportunity to learn from include Anjana Bahl, Mike Meehan, and Nigel Toft. They helped get me to where I am today and I am thankful for that.
How has support from the Accelerator team helped you?
The whole team has been fantastic. They helped me more than I could help myself. They have provided space, support, guidance, financial support, business plans, and were always ready to help me when it became too much to handle. They did not stop for me until I got what I needed.
What has winning the Big Idea Challenge meant to you?
It was validating. It was all a starting point and I realised my idea was actually up to something good. I was more interested in the support that came along with winning than the actual title.
What were some challenges you encountered?
Timing and prioritising were my biggest challenges. I like to be able to do everything and say yes when I probably should not!
What has changed since you won the event?
I think that people take my idea more seriously. When people hear how it has been validated, it’s taken more seriously. It is not just another idea that thousands of people around London have come up with.
What mentoring have you received?
Simon Boot has been an extremely helpful mentor. He is supportive, ready to answer any questions I have, and give insight when needed.
What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs?
Your idea has to be something you are passionate about. If you are passionate about it, you will do well. If not, you are going to stop somewhere and you’ll end up wasting your time. Be ready to give everything for it and to work hard. In addition, selecting the right team is important, and crucial to the development and success of your business.
Best of luck to Macchris and the entire Be My Lawyer team!