Welcome!

News Feed Item

New Startup "SitWith" Brings Strangers Together For Productive Networking Lunches

Company founded by students of the entrepreneurship program at Carnegie Mellon University.

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The challenge of meeting new people and expanding your personal network just got a lot easier for individuals in Pittsburgh. This is great news for people, such as young professionals, who are new to the area or those who are long-time residents and simply enjoy sharing conversation. SitWith, a startup company incubated the entrepreneurship program at Carnegie Mellon University, has introduced a web-based service that connects individuals by bringing them together for lunch at local restaurants, in small groups of 4, expanding social networking through face-to-face interaction.

SitWith is co-founded by Will Lutz, a Tepper School of Business MBA candidate focusing on entrepreneurial studies, Tianyu Yang, an MISM candidate at the Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College and Patrick Morse, a PhD candidate at the University of California Riverside. Their service is aimed wholly at enabling casual social connections. To maintain the informal nature of these relationships, SitWith has established ground rules as to how participants must conduct themselves. It is not a dating platform and is not to be used as a client acquisition strategy. No business cards are to be exchanged during the lunch.

SitWith's services are free to individual users and can be accessed by visiting the SitWith website. Users can choose to join a previously planned lunch, or start a new lunch while selecting the date and restaurant. SitWith has also just launched a free mobile application for Android phones, which can be downloaded via link on the company's homepage. An iOS version is in development and users are encouraged to sign up for notification of the apps release.

The main goal of SitWith is to create meaningful face-to-face interactions and great conversations that people cannot get through Facebook or email. The seating is completely random, and participants do not know who they are meeting until they arrive, making for an interesting variety of people in each group. Lutz says that they do their best to decrease the likelihood that someone is paired with a person that that they already know. SitWith is currently active in three restaurants, located in various Pittsburgh neighborhoods: the Harris Grill in Shadyside, Union Grill in Oakland or Sharp Edge Bistro downtown.

SitWith lunches take place on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As these days are considered slow business days in terms of lunch crowd volume, restaurants recognize benefit from Sitwith infilling empty seats. Lutz said that SitWith plans to expand to other single-location restaurants throughout in the Pittsburgh area.

The program is especially useful for newcomers to Pittsburgh, helping them connect with other people who are more acclimated to the ins and outs of the city. Lutz has begun working with HR departments in several Pittsburgh companies to promote SitWith to their new employees who have relocated to the area. Theories suggest that people who build a healthy social network within a geographic area are more likely to stay in that region. SitWith founders believe that, by helping to create social connections, their service can improve employee retention rates for companies that encourage a SitWith lunch.

Lutz feels that his education at the Tepper School has been instrumental in helping him to successfully navigate the waters of the startup world. "The classes and lessons are really remarkable," he stated. He also recognized Carnegie Mellon University's diverse and extensive professional network in helping him reach out to local HR departments and businesses.

For the past several months SitWith has been working out of the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's Project Olympus, an incubator for student and staff startups at the earliest stages of creation. The incubator aims to enhance and accelerate the research and development process, and helps new ventures with licensing, corporate collaboration and strategic partnerships. The company was recently chosen as part of the latest class in the AlphaLab program, a top-ten ranked business accelerator funded by Innovation Works, the Ben Franklin Technology Partner of Southwestern Pennsylvania, supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon (www.cmu.edu) is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 12,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon has campuses in Pittsburgh, Pa., California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico. 

SOURCE Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
Cloud resources, although available in abundance, are inherently volatile. For transactional computing, like ERP and most enterprise software, this is a challenge as transactional integrity and data fidelity is paramount – making it a challenge to create cloud native applications while relying on RDBMS. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Claus Jepsen, Chief Architect and Head of Innovation Labs at Unit4, will explore that in order to create distributed and scalable solutions ensuring high availa...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Kelly Looney, director of DevOps consulting for Skytap, showed how an incremental approach to introducing containers into complex, distributed applications results in modernization with less risk and more reward. He also shared the story of how Skytap used Docker to get out of the business of managing infrastructure, and into the business of delivering innovation and business value. Attendees learned how up-front planning allows for a clean sep...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.