Business Startup Spotlight: DivorceSecure

If I was to do it again, the only difference would be to start fundraising earlier. Researching and making the right connections with investors is time consuming and the length of time to get funded is longer than we originally anticipated.

This article is part of our Business Startup Spotlight Series featuring entrepreneurs and their companies. We hope these founders’ interviews will inspire and motivate you as you undertake your own entrepreneurial journey.

The Company

Name: DivorceSecure

Location: Based in: Memphis TN – Service Area: USA

Website: www.DivorceSecure.com

Product / Service Offering: We have created a workflow and collaboration tool for divorce attorneys and their clients to automate and streamline the intake process, create a negotiation strategy based on the client’s preference, and increase the attorney’s capacity to serve more clients.

Following is our FundingSage interview with the CEO of DivorceSecure:

Tell us a little about yourself with a focus on what motivates you?

Hirsch photoMy name is Hirsch Serman, CEO & Founder of DivorceSecure, I am a creative entrepreneur creating practical solutions from life experience. Challenges resulting in a positive change or impact has always been a strong motivating force in my life. My mind never seems to “sit still” and I tend to connect dots that others don’t connect. This has helped me find unique solutions to problems and to enjoy being creative. A perfect example is DivorceSecure. The genesis came from my personal experience. I realized there are millions of people every year who are experiencing an enormous life event that can adversely affect them forever due to the inefficient process. It doesn’t have to be this way and so my team is working on disrupting this industry to help those divorcing.

What need or needs does your company seek to fill for its customers?

Divorce is a confusing and inefficient process. In fact they still use the same manual process as back in the 1960’s. One mistake can horribly impact your financial future or the custody arrangement of your kids. We take a complicated, paper based process that people are not familiar with and guide them through it in a logical and simplified manner (like what turbo tax did for tax preparation). We create the ability to have the attorney and client work more as a team through creating a negotiation strategy based on the client’s preferences and the ability to collaborate online. We also eliminate a tremendous amount of data entry and reduce the potential for manual errors. Our goal is to simplify divorce and optimize outcomes for our clients.

In a technology age where automation has permeated every part of our lives, people need a technology solution!

What is the one thing that sets your company apart from its competitors?

DivorceSecure is the only divorce technology solution that is focused on enhancing the skills of divorce attorneys and improving their interaction with the client. There are many solutions geared to help the consumer or to manage a law practice, however, we focus on the attorney-client relationship and making that as effective as possible. This helps improve the client’s outcome and, in turn, drives more referrals to the attorney. Divorce attorneys are also using our platform as a new revenue stream.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while getting your company up and running, and how did you overcome it?

Starting a business from just a concept and looking to disrupt an industry means there are a tremendous amount of pieces that have to come together. Putting everything into the right sequence – customer discovery, developing, pivoting, feedback, iterating, developing more features, more feedback, beta testing, validating product-market fit, etc. – and building a solution for the pain that is experienced is an enormous challenge, especially on a $25,000 initial budget. Part of this is knowing the strengths of the original idea and being open to embracing change based on customer input.

What steps have you taken to secure funding for your company and what, if anything, would you do differently if you had to start over?

DivorceSecure received $25,000 and, in the summer of 2015, went through the Seed Hatchery business accelerator run by Start Co in Memphis, TN. The program was incredible and the people who run the program are fantastic. The 100 day business boot camp was more intense than anything we have experienced and honestly accomplished more in that time than we could ever have imagined. Our learning curve was greater than 2 years in a top 25 MBA program. Currently we are going through the TENN program (a master accelerator program through Launch TN which is equally impressive). At the end of the program there is another $25,000 funding option as well. We are currently in the middle of our angel round.

If I was to do it again, the only difference would be to start fundraising earlier. Researching and making the right connections with investors is time consuming and the length of time to get funded is longer than we originally anticipated.

Have there been any questions you have had as an entrepreneur of a fledgling startup that you had a particularly hard time finding the answers to?

We have been very fortunate with the resources and mentors we have had – both our own and the introductions made for us by the accelerator programs. We have had many questions, however, our center of influence has grown and they have made the appropriate introductions to help us. In addition, creating a start up in Memphis, TN has been a great bonus in this respect as the networking is tremendous and there is an open sharing of resources.

What challenges, if any, are you grappling with?

We run very lean (both personnel and financially) and so getting clients, revenue and scaling is our current challenge. The interest in DivorceSecure is very encouraging and now we need to convert prospects into engaged paying customers.

What is the most helpful tip or “hack” you’ve ever learned, stumbled across, or been given?

The best lesson we have experienced is to have a strong and diverse team (founders and advisors). As we have engaged new advisors and connections, we have seen the quality of our offering improve markedly. This team has no preconceived notions and titles have never entered any of our discussions. Checking egos at the door in this fashion has helped us not to fall in love or be married to any one idea. We have been able to fluidly iterate knowing that the direction we are taking will result in a much stronger offering that meets the needs of our clients.

<see related:  11 Suggestions for Creating a Highly Efficient Board of Advisors>

Interested in learning more about Advisory Boards?  Check out Built to Scale by Marissa Levin, a “Sage Recommended” read.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your company?

DivorceSecure is exclusively focused on divorce solutions right now. Our ultimate vision is to create a company focused on creating LifeSecure. There are so many major life events that happen once or twice where people need a streamlined and guided process to help them be efficient to obtain the best possible outcome. After divorce we will focus on the 65 million baby boomer opportunity of Estate planning with EstateSecure – we are going to experience the largest transfer of wealth in our history. DivorceSecure will grow to become a platform for all of family law and areas beyond. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

Would you like to learn more about DivorceSecure?  Contact Hirsch Serman, CEO & Founder, at hirsch@divorcesecure.com or call him at 440-666-4524.

Interested in Startup Stories? <see related:  Startup Stories at FundingSage>


Tony Lettich

Tony Lettich has previous Business Analysis, Business Valuation, M&A, and Venture Capital experience and currently serves as the Managing Director of The Angel Roundtable and a Partner in Sheehan, Lettich M&A Advisory. He is also a co-founder of FundingSage, which provides valuable information, tools and resources to entrepreneurs seeking to launch and build startups.