Portfolio by Emma Rees
13 June 2023
13 June 2023
Temps de lecture : 6 minutes
6 min

Meet Deployed the startup making it simple to write, edit, and publish Statements of Work

As part of our quick fire questions series – or QFQs – we spoke to Emma Rees, cofounder and CEO of Deployed about digital transformation, serving the project economy and the importance of emotional intelligence.
Temps de lecture : 6 minutes
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Services Procurement is a messy patchwork of documents and processes that plays a huge part in 98% of $1B projects failing. Deployed wants to transform the way companies run projects with the only scoping platform that makes it simple to write, edit, and publish Statements of Work.

What was the catalyst for launching the product? / Why are you doing what you’re doing?

My cofounders Kayleigh Ciara Kuptz and Jamie Gannaway were management consultants in Strategy and Operations/Technology respectively. I had built an on demand platform for freelancers/gig workers and had experience in fundraising and building small businesses. In 2019, we met over dinner and discussed the high project failure rates and outdated systems we were all experiencing in our day to day. We realised there was an opportunity to build an infrastructure that could support the growing project economy a lot better. We decided we wanted to join forces to transform the way companies run and scope projects.

Tell me about the product - what it is, what it aims to achieve, who you work with, how you reach customers, USP, and so on?

Deployed offers a single platform where requestors of services, procurement, legal and compliance teams can navigate and collaborate on the request to signature workflow via an easy-to-use editor interface. Our unique features, such as pricing table automation and scope libraries cater to the specific needs of C-suite leaders  who want better scoping tools for more efficient projects. Our USP lies in the fact that we’re a vertical platform for a specific domain in scope and work drafting and Statement of Work automation. We focus on one thing and aim to be the best at it.

How has the business evolved since its launch?

Originally a contractor marketplace, we wanted to disrupt consulting with access to high quality professionals, but we quickly realised that it was impossible to match consultants with projects unless there was a clear problem definition in the Scope of Work, which was missing from any platform. We recognised the need to solve this issue and shifted our focus to developing a solution for streamlining the scoping process. This evolution has allowed us to gain deep insights into problem definition challenges and develop comprehensive tools to tackle them.

What is your favourite thing about being a founder?

I love unleashing the potential of my exceptional team and upholding our shared values. Though there's pressure to meet goals, I find peace in being the master of my own destiny. The deep connection to our mission and defining 'good work' drives my enthusiasm. Working with talented co-founders amplifies our passion and propels us forward.

What founders or businesses do you see as being the most inspirational?

There’s so many amazing founders out there to draw inspiration from, as a female founder myself in a space that’s traditionally very male-dominated, I take a lot of inspiration from founders like Adriana Gascoigne who founded Girls in Tech, Whitney Wolfe Heard founder of Bumble who had to take a really scary but really decisive action prior to launching Bumble. These are female founders who saw genuine issues in their industries or environments and stepped up to challenge them, which I find just hugely inspiring.

Which other figures in your life inspire you?

My greatest inspiration comes from my children. They have a knack for seeing the world with fresh eyes and unknowingly reflect my own behaviours back to me. Their perspective constantly challenges me to view things differently and embrace new experiences. Their presence serves as a reminder to find joy in the little things and continually grow as a person.

What has been your biggest business fail?

Like many startups, we've faced challenges that turned into valuable lessons. One notable failure was during a live demo for a major investment bank. Despite our best efforts to coordinate with their IT department, we couldn't get past their firewall and were unable to demo our product. We learned the importance of technical preparation and seamless compatibility with clients' systems.

What are the things you’re really good at as a leader?

My strength lies in strengthening emotional intelligence. By developing self-awareness, empathy, and relationship management skills, I connect with team members on a deeper level. This fosters stronger relationships, a positive work environment, and contributes to effective communication and team cohesion.

Which areas do you need to improve on?

I recognise the need to improve delegating tasks and managing perfectionist tendencies. I'm actively working on empowering my team through delegation and finding a balance between high standards and realistic expectations. It's a journey of growth and learning from mistakes.

What’s in store for the future of the business?

We recently announced our successful funding round, where we raised $4M. What’s in store for us now is using that funding and momentum to further develop our features, move forward with assisted writing and generative AI, and grow our team even more.

What advice would you give to other founders or future founders?

Leave your ego at the door, you will get it wrong time and time again. What matters is how quickly you pick yourself back up and learn from these tough moments, because it’s these moments that truly shape you as a professional.

Try to remember to enjoy the journey, because this career path is not clear and easy, and you may never arrive at your ideal destination, but it’s a hell of a ride and if you love the journey it will always be satisfying.

And finally, a more personal question! We like to ask everyone we interview about their daily routine and the rules they live by. Is it up at 4 am for yoga, or something a little more traditional?

As a morning person, I cherish "me time" before my children wake up. I enjoy activities like a peaceful beach walk, a gym workout, or lifting weights. Being physically strong enhances my emotional strength, empowering me to face the day with confidence and resilience.

Emma Rees is cofounder and CEO of Deployed.