The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
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Quick Pitch: Find and rate dishes at restaurants nearby, and order from the entire menu on the site.
Genius Idea: Rather than reading random tips on other review sites for restaurants, Appetude is strictly focused to rating the dishes to find the best spot to dine -- or order from -- near you.
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"Where's the best food around here?" That is the question Appetude wants to answer by creating a social platform revolving around dishes, restaurants, and friends, said co-founder George Fatakhov. He's working on the startup with co-founders Mark Alayev and Mike Iskhakov.
Appetude is a social network that lets users discover great dishes at local restaurants and place orders from the site. Launched in January, Appetude currently has more than 200 dish comments and reviews on the site and its beta app, which is available for free in the app store. Even if a dish hasn't been reviewed yet, it will still appear on the site -- "We have only full menus on the site, not random dish reviews," Fatakhov writes. All a restaurant has to do to be featured on the site is to provide them a menu, which they digitize.
"People love to have recommendations from their friends," he said. "That's why we broke down the menu by dish, so they could comment."
And, yes, you can share your reviews and images of particular dishes with other users. Soon, Appetude users will be able to share reviews on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Fatakhov says the commenting and review system is in its early stages of development, but a flagging system to weed out bogus reviews will be implemented soon.
Like a dish, but don't feel like writing a review? Just click Appetude's version of the Facebook "like" button -- the "yums" button. From the same page where you click "yums" and write "delicious" reviews, you can also place orders.
Based in New York City, Appetude is currently available in limited areas thus far (Chelsea and surrounding areas of Manhattan). Soon, he says, once the app is out of beta, it will launch throughout the entire city later this year. Eventually they hope to take the app to major cities throughout the U.S.
What do you think about Appetude? Would you use it? Tell us in the comments.
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.
This story originally published on Mashable here.