Chicago legal tech firm relocates to Bloomington

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A legal technology and services company previously based in Chicago has relocated its headquarters to Bloomington.

Percipient, founded in 2013 by attorney Chad Main, has developed a platform to provide a variety of services, such as legal operations and compliance support, managed review, and e-discovery for in-house legal departments and their outside counsel.

The company, which switched to a remote work model after the pandemic hit, is now officially operated out of The Mill, a business incubator and coworking space in Bloomington.

Main told Inside INdiana Business the decision to move to Bloomington was a personal one, but one that has created many benefits for the company.

“Both of my kids are now going to IU. We’re an IU family. My wife went to IU, and to be honest, there wasn’t a need for an office anymore,” Main said. “Indiana is obviously a much more business-friendly state than other states like Illinois. Case in point, we were based in Chicago; I don’t think a lot of people know this, but Chicago has a cloud tax on software that’s in the cloud. I mean, when you’re spending half a million dollars on software like we are, that adds up.”

Main said while he liked having an office, he decided the company didn’t actually need one. But he decided to set up shop for himself at The Mill because he missed the aspect of having people around him while he worked.

“The energy here is great,” he said. “I mean, there’s other entrepreneurs and small business owners and just people you can rely on.”

One example of the benefits of The Mill, Main said, was finding someone who spoke Mandarin to help with translation for one of his developers, who speaks Mandarin as their first language.

“I was able to shoot out a request in The Mill’s Slack channel, and within about 10 minutes, I had a good candidate for that. So it’s things like that; it’s just resources that I wouldn’t have had, or the company wouldn’t have had, had we not moved here. (It’s) like an instant network.”

And Main said the local workforce could bring benefits for his company, as well. Percipient is currently developing artificial intelligence capabilities for two planned apps, including a blockchain-based chain-of-custody tracker for electronic devices.

Main said the company is looking to hire for three positions and is working with the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering on the Indiana University-Bloomington campus to find people to fill those jobs.

Percipient also hopes to work with the IU Maurer School of Law to find a candidate with legal project management experience to fill an as-yet unannounced role with the company.

The company currently employs about 25 people, all of whom work remotely. But Main notes that because Percipient is project-based, that number on occasion might jump to 40-50 for a specific project.

Looking long-term, Main said he plans to add more positions in marketing and software development.

“Our developers now are obviously not here in Indiana, because we’re new, and they’re all over the place,” he said. “But I would love to have people here. Because it’s such a great community here, I would love to look here first, and those are positions I would love to have here in the area.”

Main said 2023 should be Percipient’s best year yet in terms of revenue, with the goal of surpassing $3 million for the year. He said the company is continuing to grow, particularly coming out of the slowdown caused by the pandemic.

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