ACAA / IELTS Awards 2013 Winners: Dr Peng Tao
Dr Peng Tao, founder of the successful Chinese travel app, Breadtrip, is the 2013 winner of the Australia China Connections Magazine Australia China Alumni Award for ICT and New Media.
How do you turn your favourite leisure activity – travelling – into your career?
Dr Peng Tao did just that when he formed Breadtrip in 2012 to help other like-minded globetrotters share their travel stories and pictures by developing a smart phone platform to make travel easier for Chinese tourists. In the short time since its inception, Breadtrip has won numerous accolades, including Best App of the year by App Store 2012, and the Editor’s Choice by Apple.
Today, Breadtrip boasts more than 4 million users with footprints across 200 countries.
“The starting point for me was that I love travel and taking photos,” says Dr Peng.
“I realized that travel is one of life’s beauties and we needed something to be able to share our personal experiences with our friends.”
His IT successes and his love of travel, have earned Dr Peng Tao this year’s Alumni Award for ICT and New Media. Breadtrip is just one of several career successes for Dr Peng.
After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2004 with a PhD in Electrical Engineering, specialising in computer networks, and as first prize-winner of the 2004 Melbourne University Entrepreneur Challenge, Dr Peng used his PhD research as a base for his first IT success – Intelliguard – which helps protect Internet companies from malicious attacks. This Australian startup raised A$1.5 million and received Commonwealth support. The business now has sales across the Asia-Pacific region including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.
Today, Dr Peng Tao is the CEO and Founder of the Chinese travel app and website Breadtrip.com. Breadtrip has been widely reported by Chinese media and in 2012 Peng Tao was featured in the 2012 Melbourne University Magazine, MUM. Breadtrip continues to make headway, recently securing around US$6 million in venture capital funding.
Dr Peng created Breadtrip to help travellers record personal memories and to give them better access to travel information and to help them “experience the inner beauty of travel.” The app’s strongest popularity remains in China, but with future plans to expand it through western mediums such as Facebook and Twitter, markets beyond China are the next step.
*Pictured: Peng Tao catching the travel bug after a breathtaking trip to China’s Xinjiang Province in 2006. (Peng Tao)
Peng Tao himself is an adventurous traveler, having visited 40 countries across seven continents – including Antarctica, and most recently, returning from a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. His travel bug moment however came from a trip in 2006 to China’s western Xinjiang province.
“It was breathtaking and I really remember that moment.”
Dr Peng remains strongly connected to The University of Melbourne, participating last year in an alumni panel discussion on entrepreneurship and innovation from a Chinese perspective, and sharing his career experiences as a presenter of the Melbourne Accelerator Program Entrepreneur Series during a visit to Melbourne in April 2013.
The judging panel praised Dr Peng for his work in helping Chinese people to explore the world. His ACAA Award win demonstrates his creative strengths and his proven ability as an inspirational entrepreneur. The judges were particularly impressed by Peng Tao’s ability to build up and start up two of his own companies, receiving millions of funding along the way. ■
To read about the other winners of this year’s ACAA / IELTS Australia China Alumni of the Year Awards visit:
ACAA IELTS 2013 Australia China Alumni of the Year: Mr Zili Shao
ACAA Young Chinese Australia China Alumni of the Year Award: Ms Jingjing Xi
ACAA Young Australian Australia China Alumni of the Year Award: Mr Timothy Coghlan
Australia China Alumni Award for Research and Innovation: Dr Aihua Wang
Austrade Australia China Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship: Mr Kai Chen
CPA Australia, Australia China Alumni Award for Banking and Finance: Mr Derek Chan
ACAA Australia China Alumni Award for Corporate Achievement: Dr Weihua Sun
Australia China Alumni Award for Women in Leadership: Julie Song