Working at leading international law firms for years, Lucy honed her technical expertise and learned discipline – “a belief that an 80-hour week is perfectly normal,” she jokes. These skills, plus her understanding of doing business around the region, came in handy when she decided to launch Upstart Alliance in SG in 2015.
“I created Upstart after years of meeting startups who desperately needed legal support but couldn’t afford law firm prices,” shares the Brit, who moved to Singapore with her husband, Johnny, eight years ago. “I created Upstart to give inspiring people their best chance to change the world!”
Truly, the company’s founder and CEO pulls no punches about her chosen profession:
“Legal is traditionally elitist, confusing and expensive. At Upstart, we provide legal to growing businesses, on their terms: in a language they understand, by people they can relate to, at a price they can afford.” In January 2018, Upstart even launched a new online platform intended to offer its legal expertise to clients for as little as $200 or $300!
Her stick-it-to-the-man attitude and outside-of-the-box business idea inspired one of the judges to comment, “If I could give this company an 11, I would. It is so needed in Singapore – and epitomises what it is to be ‘small but mighty’.”
Without such vision and drive, Lucy might not have survived Upstart’s first year. “When I decided to launch Upstart, I was the main breadwinner and had a 9-month-old baby. A couple of months later, I got pregnant again,” recalls the mother of two girls, now 3 and 1 years old. “We left our dream house to move to a smaller place and cashed in our pension policies. Then, I discovered I had a high-risk pregnancy that was likely to kill me and spent months on bed rest. Luckily, my team was incredible and the wonders of the Internet allowed me to work from home.”
These days, she’s completely back on her feet (just look at those shoes!), and grateful for what SG has provided. “The community here, both business and social, is without parallel,” she says. “There are just so many businesses we want to partner with, and clients we want to help – there just never seem to be enough hours in the day!”
See more from Lucy at the video, below.
About The Finder Expatpreneur Awards
In 2017, The Finder debuted its first-ever Expatpreneur Awards to honour foreign-born entrepreneurs running successful expat-owned businesses in or from Singapore. This 2018, a new batch of 23 Expatpreneur Awardees have been unveiled! All of them have one thing in common: Their brands help people “live well in Singapore” – The Finder’s core mission. (Find out more about the Expatpreneur Awards judge who coined the term “expat-preneur” in 2015 while you’re here!)
By Sara Lyle Bow, The Finder Issue 292
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