ABA TECHSHOW kicked off in Chicago last week with its traditional opening event, the Startup Alley pitch competition, in which 15 legal tech startups present three-minute pitches in pursuit of top honors.

The winners of the competition (which I organize and emcee) are selected by popular vote of those in attendance in the audience, which votes registered via an app.

This year, the first-place winner was Universal Migrator, a tool for transferring law firm data from one practice management application to another.

In his pitch, founder Tony Valenti told the audience that Universal Migrator supports migrations between more than 60 applications. It can also support upgrades and consolidations.

Second place honors went to Decision Vault, a client-intake portal designed to streamline the intake process and easily transfer client data into a case management or document automation system.

Winning third place was Fidu, a practice management platform specifically designed to support lawyers providing legal services on a subscription basis. (Fidu founder Kimberly Bennett is pictured above during her Startup Alley pitch.)

The 15 companies that competed were selected from a field of more than 60 that originally applied. A panel of judges narrowed the field down to 40 semifinalists, who were then put out for public voting. We received almost 81,000 votes on over 16,000 ballots to decide on the final 15.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.