ANN ARBOR, MICH. – JUNE 6, 2017 — Court Innovations, the first spin out from University of Michigan’s Law School, recently closed its first major fundraising round at over $1.8 million. The round was led by the BELLE Michigan Fund and other investors include: Northern Michigan Angels, Michigan Angel Fund, the student-led Social Venture Fund at the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and private investors. Notably, funders also included those who invested in the company through its 4(a)(6) offering through Netcapital.
Court Innovations expands access to the courts for citizens who cannot miss work or family care to attend court, or who fear coming to court because of their race, ethnicity, or immigration status. With its Matterhorn product, anyone can use a mobile phone or computer to resolve and negotiate infractions and lesser misdemeanors. Citizens use Matterhorn to resolve traffic and parking tickets, warrants, family court compliance, plea online, or file a small claims civil case.
“As we roll out our Matterhorn product nationally, it’s exciting to see such broad interest in our work to make justice accessible to everyone.” said Court Innovations CEO MJ Cartwright. “Through all our funders, we pulled in investment from current partners and attracted new supporters from 48 states and Washington, D.C.”
Almost 40% of citizens who have used the system say they could not have come to court in person. For courts, Matterhorn’s online case resolution saves time, resources and money, ultimately leading to increased efficiency. Courts case closure times dropped from 50 days to 17 days, and staff time/case dropped from an average of 2.5 hours to less than 30 minutes with Matterhorn. Learn more about courts’ outcomes at our case studies page.
According to the Honorable Chief Judge Brigette Officer-Hill of the Michigan 30th District Court in Highland Park, “It allows officers to stay on the streets. It allows citizens to stay at home, or at work. It allows the judiciary to deal with cases that demand you come to court.”
Matterhorn is in twenty-three courts in Michigan and Ohio, and is expanding to Arkansas this summer. With this funding, Court Innovations will continue to expand nationally. It has hired business development and marketing staff in Michigan and on the West Coast. Additionally, it continues to invest in its technology to make additional services available to courts and citizens.
About Court Innovations
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Court Innovations is the first startup out of the University of Michigan Law School. Matterhorn allows courts to handle many high-volume infractions completely online, saving citizens and courts time and money. Rather than limiting judicial or law enforcement discretion, Matterhorn enables decision-makers to resolve cases more efficiently and equitably. Its 24/7 access and education component empowers defendants to work with the court to resolve minor violations informally, and at a convenient time.