Let's Meet At Start Up Stars - The Weekly Review

Loretta

  

What's the big idea?

Australia's first social network that connects foodies one-on-one, whether they're seeking romance, friends or company while travelling.

Who is she?

Loretta McGill is a self-confessed foodie who lives in St Kilda and works full-time in marketing for an events software company.

The inspiration

When she moved from New Zealand to Melbourne six years ago, Loretta found she was surrounded by hundreds of enticing new cafes, bars and restaurants, but no one to try them with.

"I found it really hard to meet new people, make friends, find love," she says. "The options were pretty limited to dating sites or meet-up groups."

Loretta had previously worked for New Zealand dating site Find Someone, and inspiration struck at home when she had her laptop open with a dating site and a foodie page open on different browser windows.

"It was a total light-bulb moment. I thought, why don't we mash these two things together?"

The story so far

"There's no expectation, no swiping, no sleaze. It's all about making meaningful connections over a mutual love of food," she says.

After raising $7000 through a Pozible crowdfunding campaign, she engaged the help of a food-loving developer and designer and officially launched her site in April.

Let's Meet At now has 300 members, who have signed up for free or as a Gourmet for $30 a month. The website also hosts social events for foodies.

Biggest win

"Finding the confidence to launch my dream and follow my passion, so that others never have to say, 'There must be something else' when they're looking for new friends or love online."

What I've learnt

"That I should have built a following before launching, through social media, blogging or just a landing page to capture sign-ups."

In five years' time, I'd like to be ...

"Making enough money from the site to quit my job and do it full-time. We're working on an app and I'd like to take the site Australia-wide and international."

This article was originally published on The Weekly Review. View here: http://www.theweeklyreview.com.au/meet/startup-stars-founder-of-foodie-social-network-lets-meet-loretta-mcgill/pub/bayside_and_port_phillip/#sthash.4N9DXxQ8.dpuf