Contract AI and Building the Next Successful Company in the Creator Economy

Co-Founder & COO at Kaveat, an AI-powered contracting platform that simplifies and automates the contract lifecycle for media & entertainment companies, empowering businesses to efficiently process contracts and gain a competitive edge through data-driven insights, industry benchmarks, and automatic AI-redlined contracts. Our clients include an Endeavor group company and other leading talent management agencies. 



[00:00:00] Jessy Grossman: so I am just really excited to have you on today and I appreciate you taking the time. So I think that our listeners and those people who are tuning in on YouTube and watching it on Spotify, I think that they would love to just learn more about you. So maybe a good place to start is to tell us about like.

[00:00:20] Jessy Grossman: where you’re from, your upbringing, and a little bit about like your educational background. I want to learn your origin story. So tell us a little bit about yourself.

[00:00:29] Elizabete Ludborza: My origin story. I love it. Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me on Jesse, to everybody tuning in. Hi, my name is Elizabete Ludborza. I am Latvian Lithuanian representing the Baltic states in Europe, but I grew up in Luxembourg for most of my life. So quite a European background.

[00:00:50] Elizabete Ludborza: I’ve lived all over the world. I’ve lived in Latvia. I’ve lived. I have not lived in Lithuania. I’ve lived in. Luxembourg, the UK, [00:01:00] Australia, and I believe where else have I lived? Oh, in the US, of course. And I have a very legal background. I attended law schools around the world as well. I’ve started my career in the legal.

[00:01:12] Elizabete Ludborza: Space. So I’ve worked at the court of Justice of the European Union and then in the courts here in Luxembourg, I have also been a legal officer at the Luxembourg headquarters of eBay, where I worked with all the different payment entities of eBay across the world. and simultaneously I’ve always had a hobby for the creator economy specifically creating content digitally.

[00:01:37] Elizabete Ludborza: and I know that we’ll dive a little bit more deeply into that, but yeah, European and very legal background.

[00:01:42] Jessy Grossman: So European and legal. I love it. But like, I also think that’s like a pretty unique, like a mashup of things, like the legal side and the creator economy. So like, I want to dig into that a little bit more. Like, Did the, where did the desire for getting [00:02:00] into the legal side of things come from and like talk to me about your journey in like content creation and the creator economy side of things.

[00:02:08] Elizabete Ludborza: Sure. I have to skip over that part, but it’s a good question., Growing up when I was in high school, I’ve always had this creative side. I honed my art, and artsy skills during art class. I enjoyed, even when I was a kid, just filling out coloring books.

[00:02:27] Elizabete Ludborza: Honestly, I still love them for like self-care purposes, like the adult versions of that. So relaxing and soothing. I love them, like the mandalas and everything. and when I started to think about, okay, what am I going to do after high school? Like, what path am I going to take? it was always a given that I would continue, with further education, do you go to university somewhere, most likely in Europe my parents come from a pretty traditional background.

[00:02:54] Elizabete Ludborza: They have both, pretty. Scientific mathematical backgrounds. [00:03:00] That’s that gene completely skipped

[00:03:02] Jessy Grossman: That’s interesting.

[00:03:03] Elizabete Ludborza: I’ve never been strong with numbers. So I thought okay I don’t think I’ll do anything that has to do with that. I did not enjoy chemistry growing up But I thought okay I’ve heard of marketing.

[00:03:16] Elizabete Ludborza: I think this could be something really interesting during my Economics classes. I loved the kind of macroeconomics. I loved figuring out how businesses market to their consumers, and how it impacts like even, where you place the products on the shelves in grocery stores. I remember a distinct documentary we watched in class and I was like, Oh, that’s fantastic.

[00:03:36] Elizabete Ludborza: Like that’s fascinating. but I heard from my, from one of my classmates, whose brother had graduated from university, and this is around. I believe 2009 or so, they were struggling to find a job. And I thought, okay, if I go through all the hassle of, doing at least three years of a bachelor’s in marketing, I don’t want to be in a position where I’m struggling to find [00:04:00] and secure employment, right?

[00:04:02] Elizabete Ludborza: that’s the hope that you follow this formula, you go to. University, you go to college and then you get the job and I was starting to see, okay, that does not seem like it’s a given. Let me see what are my other options. And my interest in law came from a little bit of elimination.

[00:04:20] Elizabete Ludborza: I knew I was not going to be. A scientist I knew it was not going to be an economist because that’s a lot of math, even their, banking. Luxembourg is known and renowned for bankers. I thought it was a little bit dull. So, quite frankly, I just eliminated it. Okay. What are other careers that would interest me?

[00:04:39] Elizabete Ludborza: What are my skill sets? that I’ve enjoyed even learning about in school? We didn’t have any legal classes or anything like that, but I enjoyed it. My history classes and philosophy classes, and I performed quite well in those. And I thought, okay, I think, leaning into the social sciences.

[00:04:55] Elizabete Ludborza: I think that. A law degree will only open doors for me and will give me [00:05:00] great skill sets for whatever career path I, or at least not whatever career path, but for a lot of different careers, it’s going to enable me to think about the world, contractually, it will let me think about, how do I go about the process of owning property?

[00:05:16] Elizabete Ludborza: Like, what does that entail? What if there’s some sort of dispute? How do I go about that? I feel like it’s just like a very useful skill to have, like not even a skill, but like a way of thinking about life. so yeah, that’s how I narrowed down between law and marketing, but I always knew worst case, I could always do a master’s in marketing because I might still have this interest.

[00:05:37] Elizabete Ludborza: And, to answer your second question about how I where did this. The combination comes from law and the creator economy and being a quote-unquote influencer and a micro-influencer add I’ve just honestly grown up with the internet. I loved YouTube and since it came out I remember the number of YouTubers.

[00:05:58] Elizabete Ludborza: I loved [00:06:00] following along with their journey and their growth and being a digital creator, I just like, I never knew that could become a career. I genuinely just thought, okay, like it’s a little bit embarrassing. I don’t want to tell people I’m watching these strangers on the internet, like living their lives, vlogging.

[00:06:16] Elizabete Ludborza: I remember my parents caught me watching YouTube and they’re like. Are you talking to somebody like a stranger on a webcam? I’m like, no, I’m just, it’s like a TV show. They just didn’t get it. and then they started coming out with, with these advert like I’m blanking on the name, but they, it’s essentially the early days of influencer marketing where they would just organically mention something.

[00:06:40] Elizabete Ludborza: There was no FTC, disclosure rules, or anything like that. And I thought, Oh my gosh, I’m being so influenced now. I want this, product that they mentioned. And it just like grew from there. And, I dabbled in YouTube myself, but the editing took me a little bit too long. I couldn’t balance it with my high school education.

[00:06:56] Elizabete Ludborza: So yeah, those were the early days. I stuck with, my [00:07:00] blog. It was a blog spot at the time. I got invited to, this was a big deal at the time. I got invited to H& M’s store opening in Latvia. And I was so mad when my mom didn’t let me, like, fly to Latvia to attend this opening. I was like, you don’t understand, this is the start of my new career.

[00:07:16] Elizabete Ludborza: And she’s like, you have an exam tomorrow, you can’t, like, I’m not letting you fly anywhere. that’s my foray into, the creative space and into the world of, the creator economy, which was not known as that at the time. Sure.

[00:07:34] Jessy Grossman: like now some parents, it’s like most parents, I would say like. if it’s especially if it’s in like a creative field they need to see that it can make money before they start to like to respect it. I’m certainly not like, I don’t know if that’s every parent, but that’s so many parents out there.

[00:07:52] Jessy Grossman: Otherwise they’re just like, Oh, it’s just like a hobby. It’s a hobby. and so like now you’re Fully immersed in the [00:08:00] creator economy. Your co-founder and CEO of this great company called Kaveat, which is such a good name. I haven’t mentioned that 

[00:08:09] Jessy Grossman: to you before that, like such a good name.

[00:08:12] Jessy Grossman: I don’t know, names are so big for me and they’re so hard to like come up with a great name. So tell us. I’ve, I know a lot about Kaveat, but I want to hear in your own words, like, tell us a little bit more about the company and like, what’s your vision? Who is it for specifically?

[00:08:29] Elizabete Ludborza: And I’m very happy to hear that you love the name Kaveat we had to, add in the case so that it’s more techie, more, more sexy, but essentially what Kaveat is today, it is a AI-powered contracting platform that simplifies and automates the contract life cycle for media and entertainment companies.

[00:08:50] Elizabete Ludborza: And we essentially empower businesses to just efficiently process their contracts and Streamline that entire kind of workflow that they already have and the processes that they already have [00:09:00] so that they unlock everything they need from their contracts. So, if, for example, a talent management agency is a customer of ours, they would upload a whole bunch of their historical contracts, and our AI would read those and tell.

[00:09:15] Elizabete Ludborza: So tell them, okay, typically when you work with this brand as a counterparty, you like to have these different clauses in that contract. This is typically the budget that you like to have or that, both parties agree to. It can tell you if something is missing in there and it explains all the legal jargon as well.

[00:09:33] Elizabete Ludborza: which is fantastic for more, junior team members, on the team. But, yeah, that’s who we are right now. We did start as a B2C company initially. And for more context and additional information, my co-founders and I, all met during our graduate programs at Cornell, in the New York City campus at Cornell Tech.

[00:09:52] Elizabete Ludborza: I, as I mentioned, come from the creator economy space, Dorothy, our CEO and, 1 of 1 of our co-founders, [00:10:00] she comes from the modeling world and we were just chatting, during a break. One time, I believe it was in September of 2021. And, we were just brainstorming ideas for what our dream ventures are, and I mentioned, I have so many peers.

[00:10:15] Elizabete Ludborza: from the creative space who don’t have access to lawyers who don’t have access to legal advice who are getting approached by huge brands, with huge sums involved and they have their own, obviously their in-house legal teams, or they outsource an attorney, but they don’t have that same, kind of peace of mind about like, what it is that they’re signing and they’re getting more and more, Opportunities as they grow and scale their businesses.

[00:10:38] Elizabete Ludborza: And I thought, okay, like this is an industry that is so dominated by a young woman and. It just physically irks me to see anybody take advantage of somebody who is dominant in this space. I thought, okay, there needs to be some sort of product, to bridge this gap. I know Dorothy has felt that.

[00:10:58] Elizabete Ludborza: Same pain point in the modeling [00:11:00] industry where some of those contracts can be so incredibly predatory. you would not believe the things they put in there and they ought to renew it’s a whole process. And if you want to terminate the agreement, you have to go through these laborious, termination clauses, like notify them like a year in advance.

[00:11:14] Elizabete Ludborza: It’s, crazy. And of course, That makes it difficult for the talent to just keep track of everything because it’s, how many contractual clauses is the average person? Remember that, they’ve signed or like, what exactly is the notice period? it’s crazy. so she was coming at it from that pinpoint and Christine, our 3rd co-founder and our CTO.

[00:11:33] Elizabete Ludborza: She has a, she’s a full stack software engineer. She’s fantastic and has worked at Capital 1 where she’s built out. systems, which make it, which just reduces, the opacity where there’s a lot of data and she was super excited about this space as well. She’s a huge consumer of the crater economy.

[00:11:52] Elizabete Ludborza: We watch a lot of the same people as well. So that’s the founding story as well. And our vision is really, we [00:12:00] want to make sure that everybody. Who has skin in the game, and understands the deals that they’re signing? they know what’s at stake. they’re aware of the important documents and contracts that they’re signing day in and day out.

[00:12:11] Elizabete Ludborza: how everybody has signed a contract. Not everybody is a lawyer and has access to a lawyer. essentially, as we grow and scale, right now, the media and entertainment spaces are the space that we come from. So we feel very passionate about it. But as we grow and scale our company, this is not a pain point.

[00:12:28] Elizabete Ludborza: That’s just in this industry. We would love to grow and be much more industry-agnostic as well.

[00:12:34] Jessy Grossman: Well, it’s interesting that you say that because there’s, unfortunately, a lot of industries with predatory type contracts. It’s such a thing on some podcasts that I’m listening to lately are, up in arms about like. The, like, Bethany Frankel, the reality reckoning that’s being, like, talked about a lot, certainly in 2023, and I can imagine it’s going to continue into 2024, because I have [00:13:00] also seen contracts in terms of, like, similar to that, or, like, I don’t want to throw anyone on the bus, but, like, some streaming services have some pretty one-sided.

[00:13:11] Jessy Grossman: Agreements. And I love what you said though, too, because it’s what you said that I heard in your vision is like, it’s just so people understand what they’re getting into because you can say that like it’s worth it to me and there’s enough upside or it feels pretty equally weighted and I fully understand what I’m getting myself into and I am good to go.

[00:13:33] Jessy Grossman: But I think the problem lies when people either just like go into it blindly and don’t even read it, which is. crazy amount of people don’t read their contracts, especially in the greater economy. Oh my God. But then, okay, maybe they do. They’re not that group, but they, the other group that makes an effort to read it, but they, like it’s like legal jargon or they’re just intimidated by the language or they just simply just like don’t understand it.

[00:13:57] Jessy Grossman: I don’t know whatever the reason is, but they don’t fully [00:14:00] understand what they’re getting into. And that’s a problem. Like that’s a problem. Transcribed It’s English and, but I understand that, like, there, there’s a certain, like, it doesn’t land with everybody. And if you don’t have a legal background, you might not fully appreciate, the degree at which this is, this clause is, is representing, it might sound like it’s like this innocuous sort of thing, but when you really dig into it and you fully understand and appreciate the repercussions of it and that it could be wider reaching than maybe you originally thought it hits different.

[00:14:37] Jessy Grossman: It means something different. And I love that you, first of all, I freaking love that you guys are co-founded by three women. Freaking amazing. I love it. It’s a beautiful thing. And I want to support you guys. Several other reasons in addition to that, of course, but I happen to love that fact about you and that, yes, of course, the creator economy, it’s like very female-dominated both on the creator side and also on the [00:15:00] industry side.

[00:15:00] Jessy Grossman: And so, look, not everybody has a legal background, but I want everyone to feel as if they’re protected. And there’s this like consensus and comfort that like, I understand what I opted into. And the fact that you guys like it very much. seamlessly help support that is such a powerful thing. So I want to dig into a little bit of like the behind-the-scenes of building such a company with like big ambition.

[00:15:30] Jessy Grossman: So. what has been we like to keep it real on the show. So we could talk about all the highs and all the rainbows and sunshine moments. And I’m sure there’s been money successes and I don’t want to like, diminish them at all. But I think learning from everybody’s experience is a really powerful thing as well.

[00:15:48] Jessy Grossman: So I’d love for us all collectively listening to this, listening to you, just learn a little bit from you and in terms of like, What have been some of the tougher parts of building [00:16:00] this type of company, of building Kavya? Like, what do you wish that you knew then when you started that you have since learned now?

[00:16:10] Elizabete Ludborza: Yeah. Oh, what a question. Toughest parts of building Kaveat. I would say, building a startup, building a company is truly not for the faint of heart. and I know it’s such a cliche, like so many entrepreneurs say, but like. I think that a founder’s naivete like their delusions that it’s going to be easier that you can accomplish anything is such a strength because I think if most people already could, project into the future and see how tough it will be along the road along the journey.

[00:16:42] Elizabete Ludborza: I think a lot of people wouldn’t even, start that entire process. so I would say one of the toughest parts of building Kaveat is going to be a lack of stability. whether that is just feeling secure in your job, for more context, when we co-founded [00:17:00] this, we were in a very privileged situation where, none of us had or have mortgages that we have to worry about, or growing family that, we have to take into account or anything like this that we’re pressing.

[00:17:16] Elizabete Ludborza: So I think that was a gift in and of itself, but you still worry about, am I going to be able to pay the bills? Am I, how long am I able to do this thing that I’m so passionate about? I and still be able to pay the bills, and still be able to go out every once in a while, which is not going to be nearly as much as.

[00:17:36] Elizabete Ludborza: It would be if you’re working in a traditional, nine-to-five, traditional corporate job. I think that was a really, that’s been one of the toughest parts of building Kaveat. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t do it. Had I not known, I know, I knew it was not going to be easy, just to keep it real, I’ve never spoken about this in a podcast, but like there was a moment last year when.

[00:17:59] Elizabete Ludborza: I really, I [00:18:00] thought I, there was no way I was going to pay rent. I did not, like I have plummeted through my savings. would not recommend that, but that just shows how much I believe in the measure and how much I believe in the product. I everything I had saved up from my previous jobs, which were well compensated, like I put into this just to be able to, like, survive, I, as an immigrant, had to take care of a visa.

[00:18:25] Elizabete Ludborza: The U. S. is especially difficult for immigrating to if you’re not born in the U. S. or have any connections there, that was a whole process in and of itself. would not wish it upon many upon anyone just because it’s very expensive and very confusing and, quite stressful, especially when you have to take care of that like you’re building a company day in and day out.

[00:18:47] Elizabete Ludborza: And then you also have to think about the process of like, okay, let me compile this stack of documents to make sure I can actually do this legally and like stay here and do this the appropriate way. Yeah, was rough. I think that’s rough. [00:19:00] Just like not having that financial stability. it’s not easy and you have to project everything, into the future, like, okay, if, we’re able to accomplish these milestones, like, it just, you have a lot of your own, like, actual skin in the game.

[00:19:12] Elizabete Ludborza: And, like, I think in a way, it’s nice because you have direct control to an extent. and I think last year with, so many layoffs in the tech sector and like, I’ve, unfortunately, had many people. In my network, have lost, who lost their jobs last year. And then I realized, okay, maybe actually being an entrepreneur is not that unstable.

[00:19:32] Elizabete Ludborza: Like you still have a lot more say than, in a lot of other, career paths, but yeah, I

[00:19:38] Jessy Grossman: wild? But isn’t that wild though? Because it used to be looked at as the more risky. path to go down. I’ve had the same thought in the past year or so as 

[00:19:51] Jessy Grossman: I’ve seen countless people that I’ve known who’ve been like very senior up at companies like it. They weren’t like [00:20:00] safe, or had stability.

[00:20:02] Jessy Grossman: I don’t know who else would. And have lost their jobs and we’re scrambling and here we are in like the more risky type like scenario, but we have our job cause like it’s a really, it’s interesting how things have shifted. Right.

[00:20:19] Elizabete Ludborza: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think I still have this like inherent, like, no, I don’t know if inherent bias is the right phrase to use here, but I do think like overall it is much more risky and it’s not for everyone. I have so many people in my life who are like, I love what you’re doing.

[00:20:38] Elizabete Ludborza: I think it’s awesome. So inspiring. la. Like not to toot my own horn by any means, but they’re like, but I could never do what you’re doing. Like, this is just not for me. And I’m like. That’s fine. I think I’m a little bit, Like head in the clouds. Like, I’m just like, wow, we’re building something incredible here.

[00:20:56] Elizabete Ludborza: It’s going to be the next unicorn. Like I really, we always joke with Dorothy and Christine, my [00:21:00] co-founder is like, you have to be a little bit up there in the clouds to do this, to commit to this, to say goodbye to a nice cushy six-figure salary, especially when you compare yourself to.

[00:21:13] Elizabete Ludborza: Other graduates that we, from our class and you’re like, Oh my gosh, like people are rising the ranks in their careers and they’re making very comfortable living and they’re traveling around the world. And you have to reel it in and be like, okay, no, but like, you, first of all, comparison is the thief of joy.

[00:21:28] Elizabete Ludborza: You don’t know if they’re fulfilled. Like, this is my dream job. This is beyond fulfilling. it doesn’t feel like work to me because I’m genuinely passionate about the problem that we’re solving and helping the customers that we have, but it’s really, I can’t stress enough that it’s not for the faint of heart.

[00:21:43] Elizabete Ludborza: and to answer your, I believe you asked, like, what do I wish I had known when I first started? Was that right? Yeah. I think I wish I knew how important it is to remain resilient, like, how, important. The word resiliency would be in my life, like through the ups and the downs, because [00:22:00] again, I knew there would be ups and downs as with most things in life.

[00:22:05] Elizabete Ludborza: I just didn’t realize it could happen within hours, like within the same day in the morning, you could receive the best news, like, let’s say, your intelligence with an exciting. investors were like, you just signed a huge contract with a customer. Like you’re so happy and excited and pumped.

[00:22:22] Elizabete Ludborza: And then you could receive the worst news that same day at 10 p.m. You’re just gutted and heartbroken. but I, think what helps me stay sane is just continuing to build something that is mission-aligned, that resonates with me that I’m passionate about. And, Yeah, I didn’t think that I, knew resiliency would be important, but just, I wish I had known just how important it would be.

[00:22:44] Elizabete Ludborza: And

[00:22:45] Jessy Grossman: Well, it’s easy to talk about, like, be resilient, but to, like, actually go through an experience where you have to really, truly be resilient because you’ve experienced this, high that you’re on literally the, the morning and then by [00:23:00] the end of the day, this horrible thing. Like, to go through something is

[00:23:03] Elizabete Ludborza: Absolutely. And, to that point, Jesse, like I, will give a shout-out to Dorothy, my co-founder. She taught me, like, to not get too hyped or too low about anything. Because I think I’m naturally very, like, I rally the team, like, I’m very, like, Woo! Let’s get this! Let’s get this bread!

[00:23:24] Elizabete Ludborza: Let’s do it! Like, I pump it up. But then also, if something bad happens, I can, like, just plummet, Whereas she has this, mentality where it’s like, obviously hope for the best and expect the worst. And I think it’s really good to have that just to not let it impact your daily life and like, let that impact your emotions and like, outside of work, because I think like.

[00:23:48] Elizabete Ludborza: Since this is like, it’s not just a nine to five, like we’re working crazy hours. I think people around us can suffer the brunt of that. Like the emotional rollercoaster [00:24:00] on a daily, basis. So I think, yeah, Dorothy’s mindset with that is something that I’ve learned from, especially this past year.

[00:24:08] Jessy Grossman: I appreciate that. And it’s interesting you say this past year, I feel like everyone had a challenging 2023. I just want to put that out there. I don’t know if anyone listening would agree, but like, it sounds like you perhaps had moments of that. I know I certainly had moments of that. And I just think it’s important to acknowledge, those things because like, or else you just feel so isolated and you’re like, Oh my God, like, what did I go through?

[00:24:32] Jessy Grossman: Like, why me? Or, like, I don’t know. It helps to just know, I think, collectively, that, like, you’re not alone and that people have gone through really tough times. And, like, it’s okay to feel that. Like, it’s okay to mourn it. It’s okay to, like, Be a little disappointed. Like it’s okay. and so, speaking of highs and lows, I think it’s really valuable to also talk about what it’s like to like raise [00:25:00] money for this type of company because I certainly know a lot of women in the creator economy who are killing it, but they have these like great ideas where they tell it to me and I’m like, oh.

[00:25:11] Jessy Grossman: that could be huge, but they don’t necessarily have the capital or they don’t necessarily even have access to the capital to make it a fully flushed-out company. And so that can be a real barrier for some people. I would love it if you could just talk a little bit about your experience and your company’s experience.

[00:25:36] Jessy Grossman: Raising money, and like, where did you start? Where do you think people should start? And just like, what generally is that process like so people can wrap their minds around it?

[00:25:46] Elizabete Ludborza: Absolutely. It’s so important to talk about. women raising and also the huge gap in how much men have traditionally raised from VCs versus women. it’s difficult. It’s [00:26:00] difficult. I have many thoughts to share here, but I don’t know if you’ve heard of this, but it’s all over the news under 2 percent of all venture capital funding.

[00:26:13] Elizabete Ludborza: Only 2%, or I read something around 1. 9%, goes to women. And this is this past year. I know in 2021, it was just, I believe it was 1 or 2 percent as well. Don’t, hold me to that, but no more than 2%. That figure is even less so for for women of color or from people from minority backgrounds, it’s, an atrocious statistic.

[00:26:37] Elizabete Ludborza: I traditionally come from very, let’s put traditional and male-dominated fields, whether it’s in law or tech. but I’ve never really quite experienced it as much as this kind of difference, like me being a woman or me somehow being different as much as I have, since building Kaveat and founding Kaveat.

[00:26:56] Elizabete Ludborza: and that’s just keeping it real. I think a lot of funds [00:27:00] out there love to say that they love female founders but simply put their portfolio companies do not reflect this and That needs to like we need to hold people to Account for that because actions speak louder than words and you have to put your money where your mouth is That’s just my take.

[00:27:18] Elizabete Ludborza: but you know in 2021 we saw a huge rise in Platforms allowing creators to monetize. I think this was partly driven probably by the COVID pandemic, which was also a crazy time. And it prompted thousands to turn to these platforms to make an income. Now, after that, we had what, we started raising when it was the web three NFT crypto boom.

[00:27:41] Elizabete Ludborza: A weird moment.

[00:27:42] Jessy Grossman: Very weird

[00:27:44] Elizabete Ludborza: Not my forte. Everyone’s like, no, you don’t understand. And if these are the, I’m just like, look, I just don’t get it. It’s just, I think it’s just not my thing, but that’s why it’s important to really, have a product that withstands the test of time. And it’s not just a trend. Of course, now we [00:28:00] just so happen to be in a place where.

[00:28:01] Elizabete Ludborza: It’s all about AI, but I would like to point out we were an AI-driven product way before AI hyped up to the extent that it is now we, I want to acknowledge, like I, we come from a place of privilege because we were able to lean on a lot of resources and lean on people, professors, at Cornell who have had.

[00:28:26] Elizabete Ludborza: Experience of raising a lot of, venture capital, building their own companies. so I do want to make note that, I know that this is not something that’s accessible to everyone, but even to other connections, I leaned heavily on my network, even if I don’t know somebody, like if there’s any kind of mutual connection, I’ve learned to become very shameless.

[00:28:50] Elizabete Ludborza: I reach out to people on LinkedIn. All the time. Sometimes people respond, sometimes people don’t, but you would be surprised how many people [00:29:00] are so keen to just help other entrepreneurs because it’s a lonely road out there. And I know if somebody like with, I just, I remember being in this networking event earlier this year, I believe September, October, I don’t remember, but.

[00:29:14] Elizabete Ludborza: Or rather last year now, I keep forgetting it’s 2024. And they were talking about setting up a company in the US. They already have a great team, and a great product, out in Europe. And I was like, okay, do not use this platform. Use only this. You, people, are going to try and scam you. And like you make you pay for this and this service.

[00:29:33] Elizabete Ludborza: You can do it yourself. You don’t need a lawyer. You don’t, like, because like people are just really, I’m willing to help others because like. You don’t lose anything from it, and you see that there’s It’s a community that gives back to you eventually. Like, it only rewards you for being kind and for being helpful to others.

[00:29:53] Elizabete Ludborza: So, don’t be shy. I’m also always happy to help. People often slide into my LinkedIn messages. [00:30:00] And I’m always keen to help how I can when someone does reach out. Because yeah, as I said, it’s a lonely road and I’m always happy to share any lessons or any, make any intros, make any connections where I can, where it makes sense.

[00:30:11] Elizabeth Ludborza: I do know that there are organizations out there that do help, especially for if you’re building a company in the DTC space, if you have a physical product rather than a tech product, there’s female founder world, I believe it’s called, run by Jasmine. Garnsworthy, I think that’s her full name. I attended one of her events last year.

[00:30:32] Elizabete Ludborza: It was fantastic. Met a lot of other female founders. I know there’s the female founder collective, I believe. I don’t necessarily think you need to become a member of a lot of these. A lot, like a lot of groups, are just, a money grab. Like I think from word of mouth, you’ll know who’s the right person to lean on or not.

[00:30:49] Elizabete Ludborza: But lean on the networks that you do have, whether it’s your. College, whether it’s somebody from your school who ended up building out something really exciting, really interesting. I know at work there [00:31:00] was somebody who like our paths had never crossed. We weren’t there at the same time, but she went on to found Invisibobble, the hair tie company, the one that’s like a plastic one.

[00:31:10] Elizabete Ludborza: Yeah. I see you nodding. Yeah, I reached out. I was like, this is awesome. Like, it has nothing to do with Kaveat, but I think it is just, that she showed me that she’s able to create a huge brand, a huge global brand at such a young age. And if there’s anybody who inspires you, like, don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out.

[00:31:31] Elizabete Ludborza: I think it’s always helpful. I want to give one piece of advice. I will give make it like in your introduction, obviously give a little bit of an introduction of yourself. Like, what is it that you’re looking for help with? Some people, only have like a minute to read your message or your email.

[00:31:45] Elizabete Ludborza: So make it sharp and quick, but, I think more than anything is just show if there’s any way you’re able to help them with something like include that because like, in the end, it’s not that’s not to be like transactional [00:32:00] by any means, but just to just so it also doesn’t sound demanding that you’re just demanding somebody’s time or like, can I, pick your brains for 15 minutes?

[00:32:08] Elizabete Ludborza: Like, these people are busy. Like, everyone’s very busy, but they’re willing to help. So, like. You have to somehow phrase it in such a way that like maybe you read an article that would be useful to them or you have an insight that would be useful to their business or their event or anything like that.

[00:32:24] Elizabete Ludborza: Like people, like that, ‘s, I think the best advice I can give there. As for raising money, look, I, Reach out. There’s a whole bunch of VC funds dedicated just to just female founders as well. I believe like, those are fantastic more than anything that investor the investors you choose to work with.

[00:32:44] Elizabete Ludborza: It’s a long-term relationship. Make sure it’s a good fit. during, the 1st call, you’ll be able to gauge whether it’s just a waste of time or not and whether there are any ulterior motives or not. And if ever, there’s any bad actors, it just shows you who you [00:33:00] don’t want to work with and.

[00:33:02] Elizabete Ludborza: be, I would encourage anyone to speak up because you don’t want those types of people to be in the industry either and exploit potentially other people or at the very least waste time. so, yeah, I know that was a little bit all over the place, but I hope I touched on all of the questions 

[00:33:19] Jessy Grossman: No, it’s so good because I feel like a lot of people listening probably are like, I would die to have a community that they can like to lean on and give back to, of course, too. That’s like what community is, but just don’t even know that they’re like, I had no idea of those like female founder communities. I had zero idea.

[00:33:41] Jessy Grossman: So I’m going to go check those out now. And then

[00:33:43] Elizabete Ludborza: I think your community is like, fantastic as well. Like, I keep hearing how amazing this Slack community of yours is. Oh,

[00:33:55] Jessy Grossman: then to give credit to other communities, I just joined myself called the [00:34:00] Entrepreneurs Organization or EO for short, and they have chapters all over the world. And it’s interesting though, cause you’re saying like, not all communities are.

[00:34:09] Jessy Grossman: built the same and they’re not all equal. And when I think of even my own experience about like how I found EO is because somebody, some specific person who I respect was part of it and she had been part of it for years and I was always aware of it and simply because of her association with it and how she just became more and more I was like, there’s something here because like, if she likes it, then I feel like I’m gonna get some huge value from it. And I just joined, but like already it’s just, it’s like a sense of relief that I’m like, I like, I found my people, people who like understand what I’m going through, the people who, you could pick their brains.

[00:34:52] Jessy Grossman: And like, it’s interesting. I almost feel like the communities that. Are the most beneficial. [00:35:00] It’s very rarely this transactional feeling. Like it’s the opposite of that. What I was told when I went to my first EO meeting is that like, they don’t like to think of themselves as a networking group.

[00:35:13] Jessy Grossman: Like they just have events where like you bring your family or like you like you bring a friend to, and like, it’s so much more personal than that, because also also a unique experience to being on entrepreneurs. Well, it’s like it can be, it can feel very isolating. You’re very fortunate that, you have two, it sounds like great co-founders cause not all co-founders are created equal either.

[00:35:35] Jessy Grossman: So at least, I can assume that’s been great to be able to lean on each other’s experiences, help each other out, et cetera. But so many are, so many people are solopreneurs and just being able to find those communities where people get it, people want to help you because. Exactly what you said.

[00:35:52] Jessy Grossman: I’ve experienced the same thing. Like if you really, truly like, are just there to help somebody, it always comes back to you. [00:36:00] And sometimes to be honest, like, and I’ve experienced this as like, sometimes it’s just seeing that other person, like unlock something in their business. That is so fulfilling to be able to just really help somebody.

[00:36:13] Jessy Grossman: It doesn’t always have to be like, then they’re going to connect me with somebody You know, like, but either of those experiences are valid and rewarding. So community, it’s all about community. In addition to community, I want to celebrate your wins. So we talked about some of the tougher parts of Billabong Kaveat.

[00:36:34] Jessy Grossman: I appreciate your transparency. I know everybody listening does too, but like what have been some of the biggest wins that you guys have experienced? You’re talking about those high highs. Like, let’s talk about those. What are some moments that stood out this past year?

[00:36:47] Elizabete Ludborza: I appreciate that., I think I can be a little bit rough on myself. and. forget also about the high highs and just sometimes be focusing on, okay, how do I resolve, a problem at the half, but it is [00:37:00] good to reflect. I think the number one, biggest win for 2023 is just signing and working with some incredible customers, in this entertainment, creator economy media world.

[00:37:13] Elizabete Ludborza: So our, I didn’t like delve dive too deep into it, but when we. chose to focus on the B2B side of things is when the management companies of creators of, talent of models started reaching out to us saying, listen, we have a whole talent roster, we’re managing all of their contracts. It makes more sense for us to use you.

[00:37:34] Elizabete Ludborza: And we’re like, you know what, as long as we keep the mission there and the talent has access, why. Not, so we’re excited that our very first, believer from the B2B side of things was an Endeavor group company, who we still work with to this day. They’re fantastic. we also work with other leading talent management agencies and even to your previous question about, or to your previous point, rather about building a community and just like [00:38:00] networking and just helping others or connecting with others without even realizing, like, how it’s going to come back to you.

[00:38:05] Elizabete Ludborza: Through doing that through like some random introductions and meetings and coffees, just like, just for like the, not even just for the sake of it, but just like for the fun of it, like, because I was genuinely curious, I got connected to somebody who ended up being our customer. And it is an intellectual property rights management company, and because it’s public, I’m able to say who represents Shakira.

[00:38:30] Elizabete Ludborza: that’s fantastic. And they’re like, I’m so beyond grateful to have been connected to them, even outside of just a customer relationship. They’ve been fantastic. And am really supportive of Kaveat of the mission as the founder and really like wanting to help. and that, obviously there was some work going on behind the scenes, like if we could even call it that, but it just generally came from a place of like wanting to connect with people in the industry and not knowing where it’s going to lead to, but it came back like, [00:39:00] so I don’t know if 10 X fold, but it came back in a very beautiful way.

[00:39:03] Elizabete Ludborza: Right. some of our biggest other ones were, being able to raise from investors who believe in us, believe in our product, the pain point that we’re solving, and our mission huge shout out to them, especially at the earliest stages who, do put their money where their mouth is, and on a connected note.

[00:39:24] Elizabete Ludborza: Being chosen as a fit for start finalist in Luxembourg. So this is a program run by the Luxembourgish, government. It’s a public grant equating to 150, 000 euros, equity-free support—mentors, like access to mentorship, from excellent business people, and other founders. And I think, I guess more of a vanity metric.

[00:39:47] Elizabete Ludborza: Like, I think we’re very proud of being featured in. a variety of, of press articles, whether that’s a business insider, being named one of the top, I believe, I don’t even remember the exact title. I should have looked it up, but one of the top creator [00:40:00] economy startups, that last year, RTL, Silicon Luxembourg, just to name a few.

[00:40:05] Elizabete Ludborza: we’re excited that the word is spreading out there, and hopefully reaches the right people as well.

[00:40:11] Jessy Grossman: And isn’t that wild? Because what you said earlier really related to, I relate to, you’re like, gosh, like sometimes I’m so focused on putting out the fires or like, solving the big problems that I don’t necessarily always like lean into the like really exciting moments. It’s not an isolated thing.

[00:40:30] Jessy Grossman: And I wanted to ask you this question because I think it’s so important. It’s so important to like not to lose it. Fully like, the romantic idea of like what we’re doing here in the fricking first place, like, and to celebrate those wins, whether they’re that huge, like some of the ones you mentioned or even small ones, but like, certain companies like, Oh my gosh, one of the biggest struggles of [00:41:00] any small company is probably some of your first few hires, like.

[00:41:05] Jessy Grossman: Getting people to getting your first person to like, believe in you enough to like to leave their full-time employment to go and work for you, a startup, as that deserves such like recognition and whether it’s that big or just like one customer that you secured that you’ve been working to secure for the longest time, whatever it is, big or small.

[00:41:26] Jessy Grossman: I just think it’s really, important. To celebrate those, to like, and lean into it and not be shameful or like, am I being too boastful? Am I being too this or too that? It’s like, no, like this is worth celebrating. So I’m glad that you celebrate those things. Conversely, well, similarly, you guys were talking about how a business insider, for example, is recognizing you as a creator economy company to watch, like something really exciting is going on. And I do think that they do such a good job of like covering the creator [00:42:00] economy, but I think that there’s such a unique thing about being, about building a company in the creator economy.

[00:42:07] Jessy Grossman: That’s like. different from other industries. So for anyone who’s tuning into this, who has a great idea, or is just getting started, can you give a piece of one piece of advice to someone who’s building the creator economy? What would you tell them? As they’re starting out

[00:42:25] Elizabete Ludborza: Great question. if I could give one piece of advice, and this is honestly irrelevant to whether it’s a creator economy startup or not. I hope that’s okay. is listening to really what your customers need. Constantly have a feedback loop to know whether you’re building a product, a service, or whatever it is you’re building that addresses their needs.

[00:42:46] Elizabete Ludborza: Not their wants. They might say they want one thing, but need another. I think this is the biggest lesson that I’ve learned. I think it’s not something I don’t regret, not doing this sooner, but I do [00:43:00] wish that if I could go back again, I would probably try to lean into this a little bit more.

[00:43:05] Elizabete Ludborza: I think sometimes I would hear what I wanted to hear or what made sense with our thesis or like, oh, this is perfect. We’re building exactly for what they want. for what we might’ve been building for what they wanted, but not actually what they needed. And I think that’s something that I wish we could have distinguished.

[00:43:20] Elizabete Ludborza: Just a little, like from the very beginning, like that would have been ideal, but obviously, hindsight is perfect 2020 vision. but yeah, I would say listen to what your customers need and constantly have that interaction with them.

[00:43:34] Jessy Grossman: and that can take a big ego check to, or just like, there’s just a lot of time invested in like staying in the course and like building the thing for like this purpose. But then you go to market and if you’d ask for feedback, you might be surprised at what you get back. It might be different from what you had originally envisioned, but if you want this to be successful and you want it to be scalable, then.[00:44:00] 

[00:44:00] Jessy Grossman: Got to listen to that feedback. You have to listen

[00:44:03] Elizabete Ludborza: There’s no,

[00:44:03] Jessy Grossman: Yeah, and it might be incredibly helpful, but I can also see how people might struggle to take that in because it might perhaps be a different vision than what they had originally spent hours, days, weeks, months, years even building.

[00:44:21] Jessy Grossman: it’s difficult to. Pivot, but that’s probably another thing that is worth like building a muscle, is like how, like that’s one of the beauties of a small company, but it can be challenging to do, which is like just pivoting in your business, like changing direction, based on feedback or critical information of some sort.

[00:44:41] Jessy Grossman: but it can open up something huge for your business.

[00:44:46] Elizabete Ludborza: And it can, and to your point, Jesse, like there’s a lot of money, a lot of wasted time resources, and it can be so painful. Like, I understand. I do to like, be like, no, it has to work. Like I’ve sacrificed too much or I [00:45:00] can’t afford to or like. Whatever it may be, it’s better to correct the course of action when you can rather than when you cannot.

[00:45:07] Elizabete Ludborza: Right? So I wish, I think I read this quote somewhere and it just, stuck with me, like, the number 1 reason why something might Fail if you’re building it out is that you were not honest enough from the very beginning. And I think this like just fits right into that. It’s very humbling.

[00:45:24] Elizabete Ludborza: It’s very humbling to know. Oh, like my original thesis might not have been exactly right. Oh, I should have like focused more on that, but that’s my number one piece of advice, like constantly, talk to your customers, constantly understand exactly what it is they need rather than what they say they want, whether that for just to that point, Even what we started doing a Kaveat is we have implemented calls with our customers where we see how they even just use the product to make sure that we’re not thinking that they’re using it and assuming that they’re using it 1 way, [00:46:00] the way that we designed for them to use the product.

[00:46:02] Elizabete Ludborza: And then we see, oh, actually, something’s not clear. Actually, like, this doesn’t solve. What they had in mind and then, yeah, like figure being creative about how you get that piece of information can be really, helpful. And I know that there are solutions out there where customers can like send you a screen recording and all of that fun stuff, but, yeah, focus on what they need, not what they want.

[00:46:23] Jessy Grossman: No, that’s such, good advice. So I have a feeling that our community, like, I hope I’m communicating how cool of a product this is. I think it’s like not only so needed to your point, very, needed, but also so easily digestible. and it makes such a big difference. I’ve just, I’ve taken a demo of it.

[00:46:45] Jessy Grossman: Like I’ve seen the product in action. So I hope I’m communicating how cool it is, but like sometimes you just need to experience it for yourself too. So for anyone who is listening today who wants to get in touch and perhaps like learn more about Kaveat, like maybe even like [00:47:00] try Kaveat, what would you tell them is the best way to reach out to you?

[00:47:05] Elizabete Ludborza: Yeah. Feel free to check us out at Kaveat app. com that’s spelled with a K. So K A V E A T. App. com we’re not quite a Kaveat. com. Yeah, we’re just Kaveat app. com. There’s a contact email on there, which you can reach out to the member of the Kaveat team. We’ll get in touch. You can always find me on LinkedIn.

[00:47:30] Elizabete Ludborza: It’s just my name, Elizabete Ludborza. I’m sure it’ll be like, either in the show notes or in the title of the podcast. Feel free to pick me up on Instagram. I’m very active on there. It’s just my first name and the initial of my surname. So Elisabeth said yeah, happy, happy to chat with anybody who thinks Kaveat might benefit their business and streamline their workflow.

[00:47:51] Elizabete Ludborza: I know a lot of the smaller management agencies really, it doesn’t make sense from unit economics to. Have an in-house legal team, [00:48:00] or, even outsource attorneys to help them manage all the contracting. We just speed up that entire process. We’re 10 times faster. We have processed tens of millions of contract volumes.

[00:48:12] Elizabete Ludborza: Analyze all types of contractual clauses. We can tell you what is missing from your contract, what shouldn’t be in there, and what should be not legal advice, but we just we’re that intermediary point, so feel free to reach out if you think Kaveat would be beneficial to you.

[00:48:26] Jessy Grossman: I love it. And is there any, I’m like putting you on the spot here. Is there any sort of like offer that you can share with WIM members? Like if anyone wants to reach out and like comes from the WIM community,

[00:48:37] Elizabete Ludborza: love it. Absolutely. Happy you asked. we’re happy to offer any web members, whether that’s a free trial or a discount, whatever makes sense on the amount of, amount of months committed, but yeah, at the very least happy to provide a free trial.

[00:48:51] Jessy Grossman: that is awesome. I appreciate it. I know I’m putting you on the spot here, but I appreciate that. I always want to give our community like. Some sort of give back. It’s such [00:49:00] a cool product. So it’ll like to pay itself in pay for itself in droves. so we’ll leave details on that in the show notes of like the best way to reach out and say that you’ve come from the WIM community so you can get that offer to try it out.

[00:49:13] Jessy Grossman: I want you guys to see an action, but I’m also just super grateful that you came on here. I think we learned a lot about the entrepreneurial journey, and building a company and I’m. Super grateful that you could share that with us. So thank you so, so much for coming on today.

[00:49:30] Elizabete Ludborza: Of course. Thank you so, so much for having me on. It’s been an absolute pleasure and I feel like we covered quite an interesting ground during this conversation and he got some of my unfiltered thoughts about different topics. So no, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much.


[00:49:48] Jessy Grossman: Thank you. And thank you guys so much for listening and we will see you guys next week.

Elizabete Ludborza

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer. KAVEAT

Co-Founder & COO at Kaveat, an AI-powered contracting platform that simplifies and automates the contract lifecycle for media & entertainment companies, empowering businesses to efficiently process contracts and gain a competitive edge through data-driven insights, industry benchmarks, and automatic AI-redlined contracts. Our clients include an Endeavor group company and other leading talent management agencies. 

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