Name: Lauren Riley
Business: Riley is founder of The Link App, an encrypted cloud-based communication tool for time-strapped law firms that allows them to send instant updates to clients.
Why you should know about her: Riley first came to prominence during her stint as a candidate on series 10 of The Apprentice in 2014.
A qualified solicitor, specialising in family law, Fylde-born entrepreneur Lauren Riley has an honours degree in Law from Lancaster University, as well as a post-graduate diploma in law with distinction. She launched her legal tech app The Link App back in August 2014.
Ahead of speaking at Startups and Virgin Media Business’ Power of Digital event this Wednesday 24 January, here’s everything you need to know about the former Apprentice contestant and app building-entrepreneur…
1. She’s a pioneer in two very different industries
Young, female, and mixed race, Riley is somewhat of an exception rather than a rule.
A pioneer in the both the legal and tech sectors, two industries traditionally dominated by men, Riley is determined to use her combined fame and expertise to inspire wannabe-entrepreneurs and solicitors from all walks of life.
A constant champion of diversity, Riley is passionate about putting a “public face” on two industries not actually renowned for their inclusivity.
Admitting in the past she’s been judged purely on her looks, Riley says it never takes long for ability to “do the talking for you”.
2. She’s a vlogger and blogger with a strong social media following
Heading both a very successful start-up, as well as having a very impressive career, it’s not surprising that Riley is a source of inspiration for so many.
As well as being a motivational speaker, Riley is also a vlogger and blogger with a very strong social media following across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and her own website.
Regularly uploading videos and blogs featuring everything from her travel diaries, to her best business advice and fitness tips, Riley’s YouTube channel alone has amassed a very impressive 33,000 views.
3. She’s keen to raise awareness of domestic violence
A solicitor specialising in family law, Riley has both represented victims of home abuse and also seen firsthand the amazing work charities do to help combat domestic violence.
An incredibly sensitive, and rarely talked about topic, Riley believes that although people don’t like talking about domestic violence, unless people confront the problem head on – it’ll never go away.
Inspired by the work of female charity Women’s Aid, Riley decided to run the London Marathon to raise both awareness, and much-needed funds, for such a worthy cause.
Despite the fact she’d never even run a 10k before, never mind an actual marathon, the entrepreneur said she “jumped at the chance” to get involved.
Ticking an item off her bucket list by completing the race, Riley’s fundraising page raised over £1,500 for Women’s Aid.
4. Her business has some very impressive backers
Eyeing global expansion for The Link App in 2018, (the app is already popular in the UK and South Africa), Riley’s start-up has recently been head-hunted by a “prestigious Silicone Valley accelerator” – and will be joining the programme very shortly.
Having already completely two successful funding rounds, The Link App was also named in a recent Law Society published-book as a “secure alternative to email” – no easy feat.
A sure sign of industry confidence, Sir Nigel Knowles, the former global co-chairman of law firm DLA Piper, is an early investor in The Link App, and also serves as chairman.
5. Her app was recently named one of the best in Britain
Competing against a whole host of start-ups from across the UK, The Link App was recently shortlisted to the final five in KPMG’s search for the “Best British mobile start-up.”
Having successfully pitched her business plan to a panel of industry experts, Riley will now travel to the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest annual mobile industry gathering, in Barcelona – where an outright winner will be announced.
On the accolade, Riley said:
“We’re honoured to have made it to the final five in KPMG’s best British mobile start-up competition.
“I am enormously proud of, and passionate about, The Link App; the feedback we’ve received from firms and their clients has been a positive motivator for us and this achievement reinforces my view that we are revolutionising the way legal firms are interacting with their clients.
“We’re looking forward to heading to Barcelona to take our business to the global stage.”
6. She’ll be offering advice on the #PowerofDigital at a free Startups’ and Virgin Media Business event
On behalf of Virgin Media Business, Startups.co.uk will be hosting The Power of Digital – an exclusive panel and networking breakfast event on digital transformation, with Riley as one of the guest panelists.
Taking place in Manchester on 24 January 2018, the event is part of a nation-wide series which explores the digital necessities for future business success, such as enhancing customer experience, clever digital marketing, and improved IT infrastructure.
To purchase your free ticket, or to find out more information, click here. But hurry – tickets are going fast!
You can get the lowdown on other influential entrepreneurs in this series, such as: