Emma’s entrepreneurial spirit

9 February 2016

Emma Elliott's startup wins Lord Mayor's Budding Entrepreneur Program

Weddings are big business. Just ask Peptree’s Brisbane-based co-founder Emma Elliott, who is making it her business to plan the perfect nuptials.

In July 2015 she was awarded $5000 in startup support from the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program.

Emma told Digital Brisbane that winning the grant made her realise other people believed in Peptree and the partnership she had with co-founder Hesam Alavi.

“The funding allowed me to rent a permanent desk space in a creative co-working space (The Coterie) which has opened up so many doors, friendships, business partnerships and further learnings,” she said.

“I also headed to an industry-specific conference in the US which was an invaluable learning experience.”

A quick glance at the website reveals Peptree’s purpose, which is to digitally connect wedding suppliers and businesses with couples looking to plan their big day, their way.

“Since applying (for the grant), we have managed to learn a lot about our business and also our customers,” Emma said.

“We have had some revenue as well and the day when our first payment came through was incredibly exciting.

“We now have a CTO (Chief Technical Officer) onboard who has over 20 years’ experience in software and web development.

“Our portfolio of vendors in our online marketplace has grown from less than 20 to over 60. We have also pivoted our business model a few times to get it closer to market needs.”

Like several other grant winners in the fourth round of the Lord Mayor’s Budding Entrepreneurs Program last year, Emma revealed how learning from someone else’s successes or failures was crucial to the development of her fledgling business idea.

“There are so many unknown situations in validating, operating, and scaling a business and if you can learn from other people’s successes and mistakes it will make things easier and quicker,” she said.

“By no means is it easy, but why should you make the same mistake twice?

“We have met so many people who are working on different concepts and businesses, and connecting with these people has been one of the most enjoyable parts of our journey.

“There seem to be so many co-working spaces popping up across the city and growing on a weekly basis and many startup events taking place also.

“The city really is brimming with enthusiastic and creative individuals all looking to build something for themselves and others to use.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Peptree or planning your own celebration, head here.

And in case you were wondering about the quirky business name, Emma’s also happy to share its origins.

“Peptree comes from the words “peppy” and “tree”. Peppy is synonymous with “happy”, “energetic” and “high spirit”. Tree symbolises longevity, freedom, integrity, humility, and these are what we stand for.”

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