Social Food App Forkly Sets the Table in Denver

November 13, 2012

2:34 pm

If you’re scheduled to have a conference call with Forkly and are put on hold, you get to listen to Weird Al’s “Just Eat It.” And, that’s exactly what the Denver-based startup wants its users to do.

Forkly cofounder Brady Becker is looking to connect with food fans from all walks of life. His company created Forkly to be accessible to a wide range of personalities:  people who love food and drinks, those who love social media, and users who want to share their dining experiences or food photography. People from chefs and food writers to brands and foodies can use Forkly to indulge in their love of great food.

“We were fed up with the current solutions around trying to find places to eat and drink,” says Becker. “Sifting through reviews was too much effort, especially on the go, and food photo sharing apps didn’t provide enough utility around actually finding good stuff to eat or drink. No solutions understood personal tastes very well. These frustrations inspired us to build something that we would want to use.”

Forkly isn’t the only food app on the menu, though. Gojee, Feastly, and Foodily come to mind. But, Forkly is harnessing people’s “taste graph” to stand out from the competition.

“There are a plethora of food apps that are focusing on the photo,” says Becker. “In Forkly, the photos are optional; we’re all about capturing your tastes and making use of those opinions. If a photo exists or was provided by the restaurant, we’ll use that one, with the option to add your own. By focusing on your likes and dislikes, Forkly helps you discover new places and will show you ‘what’s good’ once you’re there— this set of taste relationships are your ‘taste graph,’ and it’s at the core of what powers Forkly.”

For Becker and his team, Denver was the right city to set its table in. “Denver is affordable, hard-working but relaxed, and has an exciting, relatively new startup scene to be a part of,” says Becker.

However, starting up in Denver has had its disadvantages, too, such as struggling to find local investors and talent, since these things tend to be based in the Bay Area and NYC.

“The disadvantage is definitely changing, as we were expecting,” says Becker. “It’s exciting to see how quickly the Denver startup scene is growing, and we’re hoping that the more startups that decide to launch here, the more it’ll attract new investors and talent.”

The team clearly has no regrets about launching Forkly in the Mile High City. “We made a conscious decision to start it here based on the quality of life–we feel that it’s much higher here in Denver,” says Becker. “We’re excited to see the startup scene grow into a real ecosystem.”

Forkly was a featured startup at Tech Cocktail’s Denver Mixer and Startup Showcase at Denver Startup Week.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup.

She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, “Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership,” which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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