The Story

The founders belonged to a dinner circle at Yale that grew to over 300 people (and still growing). This experience taught us why people love dinner circles and what draws them to it. We learned how to get people to join and how to keep them engaged. We learned first-hand about the logistical frustrations preventing dinner parties from thriving, and how to solve those problems elegantly.

The problem for hosts is that they lack the combination of cost sharing, event planning, and social media tools they need to lower all the “barriers to entertaining.” The founders of Zoko came to the business organically, so we understand the need better than other food-related social media sites. In Zoko’s first six weeks of private beta, users scheduled over 200 dinner parties on the site—that’s more than our closest competitors scheduled in six months.

Zoko focuses on existing friend networks, instead of just bringing strangers together. We spread the organizational burden across the whole group, helping ease the burden on hosts. Zoko’s innovative 2nd degree invitation system allows Zoko to spread virally, because hosts and guests will promote parties to ensure that they happen, while at the same time promoting Zoko’s website.

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