Screen capture from Beagle Inc. website

A new company with a virtual base in my home neighbourhood (by which I mean the island of Anguilla in the British West Indies: Note the “ai” in the company’s url: has recently attracted attention from such media outlets as Fast Company, The Globe and Mail, and TechCrunch. The reason for the buzz is that Beagle has been chosen to participate in the second-ever MicroSoft Accelerator Class, and – with its physical base in Waterloo, Ontario – it’s the first Canadian company to have done so.

The tagline of Beagle is “We Sniff out the Fine Print So You Don’t Have To.” The company’s purpose is to simplify contract negotiations through the use of computer analysis that reads the “fine print” in contracts and distills their meaning  – and then allows input from stakeholders so that the contracts will better meet their needs. Using artificial intelligence technology, the program also “learns” the preferences of users with repeated application.

The Microsoft Accelerator Class offers promising startups a four-month residency at MicroSoft Venture headquarters in Seattle. Participating companies gain not only the benefit of MicroSoft expertise, they also make valuable contact with other startups at similar stages of development. “For us it’s a huge validation,” said Cian O’Sullivan, founder of Beagle Inc., in a Fast Company interview. “We’ve already seen immense interest in our company as a result of being selected.”

As always, I’m pleased to know your thoughts on this or any other matter, either in the comments section below or directly via email.