Some time ago we noted that one route to success involved never eating alone, which conveniently converged with the title of a book on networking. Now the concept has taken a new turn into the social media front. Someone decided that people need people in the face-to-face way and GrubWithUS was launched. Users join a social network which then provides them with the means to meet others, in person, over some um, grub. One of the developers prefers to think of it as a “non-awkward” means of meeting people. Everybody eats, right? (But not everybody eats right.) Fees for the meal and other aspects of the meetup are handled through the GrubWithUs site which also sends an “ambassador” along to each dining session, perhaps to make sure all are on their best behavior. Users can organize themselves according to interests, places of residence, alma mater and more. A mobile app for the site was recently launched.
And while this may sound like another version of online dating, it isn’t. One interesting twist on the GrubWithUs gathering involves startups in the hunt for venture capital. Investors sponsor a meal for a charity. Entrepreneurs sign up for one such session with a notable investor and the proceeds from the meal go to a charitable cause. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs get the opportunity to pitch their idea with a chance of gaining funding. There could be myriad variations on this theme for those with imagination. So far only about 30,000 people have signed up to dine with like minded strangers but the idea is still in its youth. Perhaps one day there will be DanceWithUs, HaveCoffeeWithUs, LearnWithUs – oh the places you can go – with us.