Once a month we have a group of "friendly dragons" (aka Team Soda) that come together to hear pitches from startups and review the progress being made of those in a Soda startup programme. Over the next few months we'll be introducing you to this panel of knowledgeable business legends. This one's all about Lucy Bird.

Lucy is a Business Manager at ASB. She has recently returned to the Waikato, after spending two years in London working in Project Finance, as an AVP at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, in the public/private partnership sector. Prior to moving to London, Lucy worked as a Commercial Analyst. Lucy obtained a bachelors Degree at Bryant University in the United States, on a tennis scholarship.

Get to know Lucy below.

What are you most passionate about?

Food and a good time!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Moving to Barcelona for the summer to learn Spanish, full immersion.

Choose a movie title that best describes the story of your life?

Cheaper by the dozen – I’m one of six kids.

What is the professional achievement you are most proud of?

Managing 1 billion GBP worth of public/private sector infrastructure projects in the U.K.

Where are you looking to head in the future?

Immersing myself in amongst Waikato Business.

What, or who are you a “closet” fan of?

Masterchef Australia!

Who has inspired you most or influenced where you have ended up now?

My Parents! They encouraged me to set goals and aspire for advancement whether that be in sport, education or life skills

Which four people, living or dead, would you most like to eat dinner with? What kind of dinner party would it be?

Roger Federer, Nadia Lim, Adele, Amy Schumer. It would be an Asian fusion vibe with cocktails.

A piece of advice you would give your younger self.

Don’t be scared to fail, and focus on solutions rather than problems.