Joel Zae, a founder in the Master of Business Creation program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, is turning his balloon side-hustle into a full-time party planning business. His idea, Party Pipeline, serves as an online marketplace where party planners can find and book local, trendy entertainment vendors.
“A lot of my current clients use my business as a service,” Zae said. “We do balloon art, face painting, caricatures, photo booths, magic, and henna tattoos. One problem that I saw is that a lot of these party planners didn’t know who the local vendors were. I saw that they needed a marketplace where they could search all the local vendors, check their availability, and then book them all through one site. It saves them a ton of hassle in planning their party.”
Party Pipeline services a wide range of parties from corporate events to kids’ parties and will even expand into bachelor, bachelorette parties, and more. Zae said, “Long term, I would definitely like to be to the go-to party planning website so that any time anyone thinks about planning a party or an event, the first thing they think to go to is the Party Pipeline marketplace.”
Zae grew up in Denver. His family struggled financially and Zae learned to make balloon animals for tips. Those tips bridged the gap between him, his family, and the streets. He continued balloon artistry through college by doing restaurants and corporate events before graduating with an undergraduate degree in accounting from Brigham Young University. “Because I started at a young age doing balloon animals, balloon animals is now second nature,” Zae said.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2022 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.