Social Meals startup Grub With Us has just anounced a new charity meal with investor Howard Hartenbaum of August Capital at the restaurant Tamarine, in Palo Alto on Monday Sept. 26. The restaurant is a favorite with the venture crowd, and the charity meal is a great opportunity for a few plucky founders to pitch their companies. Even if those who can’t secure funding from the encounter are in for a memorable meal. Tamarine is a Vietnamese restaurant where the Yelp reviewers tend to wax poetic.
Grub With Us is a Y Combinator company that connects strangers over group meals at a curated selection of restaurants, and payment is taken in advance directly off its website. We’ve recently covered, the Venice, CA startup which touts high profile investors like Ashton Kutcher, and whom first launched the charity meals this summer. Diners bid on the chance to join the meal, and the proceeds are donated to charity.
Lucky charity meals diners have joined Alfred Lin and Mark Dempster, partners at Sequoia Capital; Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and marketing guru at travel site Hipmunk (both YC), John O’Farell and Scott Weiss, partners at Andreesen Horowitz Garry Tan, partner at Y Combinator, as well as partners from NEA and First Round Capital.
The meal hosts get to designate a charity, and money raised has gone to benefit The Institute of Higher Awesome Studies, Japan earthquake relief, Keep Food Legal, and Second Harvest Food Bank, and Grub With Us development director Sen Sugano says the most successful meal raised more than $5,000 for charity.
Sugano says that a number of participants in the charity meals have gotten first round interviews, and Grub With Us is now expanding the program to include hosts outside of the tech community, including influencers in the non-profit sector and elsewhere.