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“THE WORKS” PARTICIPANT #4: Unveil

The Works Demo Day 3(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another in a series of articles spotlighting companies competing in this year’s “The Works” growth accelerator operated by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center {KEC}. The teams will have their “Demo Day” on September 20 as part of the second annual “Innov865 Week.” To register, click here.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

If you’ve ever been involved in planning a wedding or observed a bride-to-be who was doing so, chances are you know how stressful the process can be. After all, it’s probably the most life-impacting event they have experienced thus far.

Now take the normal stress and add a three-time zone difference for the bride-to-be. That’s what Flora Wu, now Ellis, experienced when she was planning her wedding in Philadelphia while living in California.

“I should have been enjoying my engagement, but I was trying to line-up vendors in Philadelphia from California during my lunchtime,” the recent arrival in Knoxville told us. “Wedding planning was overwhelming.”

Like other Millennials raised in the era of Amazon and Airbnb, Ellis expected to be able to use the Internet to find vendors, compare prices, and execute agreements, all online. That was not the case, however.

“I could not believe there were no good tools to help,” she said. When Ellis talked to others, she found the same frustration. “All of my friends were creating their own monster spreadsheets,” she explained, adding that “everyone was so bogged down in tedious and time-consuming things.”

The result is a new start-up – Unveil – that Ellis co-founded with Michael Huang. She’s the Chief Executive Officer while he is the Chief Technology Officer. Huang experienced first-hand the challenges that couples face as he and his fiancée were planning their wedding while he and Ellis were developing Unveil.

“We developed an online wedding planning tool that replaces spreadsheets and makes wedding planning much easier,” Ellis told us. “With our planning platform, you can stay organized and in control while saving time.”

In addition to the free suite of online planning tools, Unveil offers a premium concierge service for couples who are looking for personal assistance in researching potential wedding vendor options.

Ellis earned her undergraduate degree at Princeton University and her MBA from Harvard Business School. She met her husband in Boston.

As far as KEC’s “The Works” growth accelerator, Ellis has nothing but positive comments. “Their mentorship and expertise in branding and marketing have been so valuable,” she says.


Tom Ballard

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer,
Pershing Yoakley & Associates. P.C.

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