Second business pitch competition win helps sophomore Jacob Goldman stand out as budding entrepreneur

Suits.AI on screen during Goldman's pitch
May 20, 2024
By Lauren Piskothy
Having only been at Flagler for two years, sophomore Jacob Goldman has managed to make a name for himself on campus as a successful entrepreneur. 
Goldman during 2023 Lion's Cage pitch

Goldman pitching Layoff Lookout at 2023 Lion's Cage

Seed money for his third-place business pitch in the 2023 Lion's Cage Competition helped Goldman and his cousin co-founder further develop their startup, “Layoff Lookout," an employee-minded automatic alert system, into successful operation. This entrepreneurial accomplishment in his first year at Flagler has only boosted Goldman's drive for business innovation. 

Goldman was selected once again as one of the few students to advance from the Saints Showcase to the Lion’s Cage during Flagler’s annual Business Week. This year, he brought a new idea to the judges that earned him the top spot: Suits.AI, a pitch addressing one of the three proposed themes given to student contestants, “AI & The data Economy.”  

Saints Showcase

Saints Showcase

In his allotted five-minute presentation, Goldman explained Suits AI as an innovatively programmed AI language created to help individuals who can’t afford to hire a lawyer. He said this custom-built AI tool combs through contracts and legal documents to breakdown complex legal jargon, highlight crucial points of contracts, and offer tailored assistance based on use case.  

Goldman pitching Suits.AI

“The framework of Suits.AI is applicable to many different use cases including real estate dealings, new job contracts, NDAs, or anything with complex legal jargon that you have to put your name on,” Goldman said.  

Despite his success at last year’s competition, Goldman said he was unsure what to expect going into this year’s Lion’s Cage competition. 

“I felt like I had a good shot at [first place] last year and it didn't really pan out, but I put a lot of time into trying to make it happen this year,” Goldman said of the anticipation he felt while waiting for this year’s top three pitches to be announced at the end of the competition. “I wasn't really nervous until they were calling out the finalist’s names.” 

The idea for this winning pitch initially came to him after watching a video about the different ways AI will be utilized in the future, including the automation of straightforward legal work. After doing some research, Goldman said he realized there were no AI software, available to the public, trained to help average individuals like small business owners and entry-level career professionals decipher contracts.  

“Here we are two years since Chat GPT came out and there are other legal AIs, but nothing targeting the market that I was going for, which was, individuals who can't necessarily afford legal assistance and to have someone look over their contracts,” he said. “There was an obvious gap there I knew I was able to fill.” 

Goldman tested the idea in his Entrepreneurship and Innovation class. By the end of the course, Goldman, and his project group, had a full business plan and a completed pitch deck for Suits AI. He liked the idea so much, he decided to use it for this year’s Lion’s Cage Competition.  

Not only had Goldman identified a gap in the market, but he said early class conversations this year made clear the prominence of AI as topic for academic engagement. While he noted that professors ran the spectrum of liking, loving, or hating AI, it’s integration as a hot topic into class discussions and coursework allowed Goldman to flesh out his business idea and further explore his interest in the entrepreneurial opportunities in this sector of the transformed “data economy.” 

“Quickly every professor was either like, I hate it, or I love it, or somewhere in the middle.” Goldman said. “But it was discussed, in I think, every classroom we went into, especially during syllabus week... In a lot of my business courses and more innovative classes encouraged us to utilize AI to push our ideas forward and help produce products or different business plans.”  

Suits.AI graphic

The positive feedback he received during his coursework and support from faculty solidified his confidence in Suits AI. 

“I knew what needed to be done, how the pitch needed to come out, and how to communicate the idea,” Goldman said. “I had the whole framework in my head. Especially after having the experience last year, knowing what the competition is like. I was comfortable and I knew I could execute it.”  

In the end, Goldman’s confidence paid off, literally, and won him a $5,000 investment that he can use for the further development of this business proposal.  

Goldman pitched Suits.AI as a subscription-based product, that would be free for up to fifty pages of a legal document analyzation, and then sixty-five cents a page once the fifty pages have been exceeded. He said he’s also considered selling Suits.AI as a package tailored to customers’ specific needs so they can simply purchase it as a comprehensive tool.  

“There's still a lot of options on how we're going to bring it to market,” Goldman said. “As far as the foundation of what the product is, that's complete, it's just going to be a lot of that upstarting process.” 

But for now, Goldman is focused on his already successful startup Layoff Lookout.  

Layoff Lookout graphic

“We know how big of an impact [Layoff Lookout] can have and how big of a gap it’s filling,” he said. 

With both business ventures, Goldman said he’s grateful for the opportunities he’s had to pitch these ideas to and network with accomplished business professionals through the Lion’s Cage Competition. 

“I have met so many amazing people and mentors through the Lion’s Cage and Business Week,” he said. “My internship opportunities as well have come from connections I have made during Business Week. I am doing some AI consulting as well as interning at a startup I have been connected to through the Business Advisory Board.”  

Goldman holding first-place check

Goldman said his success in Flagler’s Lion’s Cage has been instrumental in helping him stand out in the crowd, giving him a leg-up in eliciting media coverage as he markets these start-ups. He said it’s helped add validity to his story as an entrepreneur as he tries to forge his own path in the business world. 

 “If you want to do bigger things, you need to find a way to stand out,” Goldman said. 

Beyond Suits.AI and Layoff Lookout, Goldman hopes to continue down the entrepreneurial and innovation path he’s on. 

“I'd like to be doing strategic management development at some sort of innovative company that's making change and doing something unique,” he said. “I love building out these products- figuring out ‘how are we going to get it to market, sell it, produce it.’ Making things run more efficiently and finding better ways of doing things, that's not work for me at all. That's so fun to me.” 

With two successful Lion’s Cage competitions under his belt, it’s evident that Goldman’s passion for entrepreneurship is what drives him.  

“Whether it’s a role in my own company or my own project or somewhere else, it’s the process that gets me really excited,” he said.