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NYC Architect Turned Entrepreneur, Lori Cheek Reverse Engineers Online Dating

Learn how NYC entrepreneur, Lori Cheek is bridging the gap between real-world encounters and online dating and why you should live your dreams relentlessly.

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Making connections can be difficult. Especially when it comes to dating.

Thousands of possible connections have made the Internet and dating a perfect match. But what about offline connections? How can you easily turn real world connections into new relationships?

Architect turned entrepreneur, Lori Cheek often considered this dilemma.

“One in five relationships supposedly start online. What about the other four?” says Lori Cheek. “It had happened to me a thousand times during my NYC commute — spotting that intriguing stranger on a train, in a café, crossing the street, at baggage claim, etc. and nearly 999 of them got away.”

For Cheek, a regular business card wasn’t the answer. Instead she decided to reverse engineer online dating and solve missed connections one card at a time, by launching Cheek’d, a membership based online dating site fueled by offline connections. And her idea of “online dating, reversed” has caught on in a big way.

Lori Cheek traded in a 15-year career in architecture, furniture and design — for companies like Christian Dior — to build  her next gen online dating company. And it seems as though Cheek’s timing is perfect — she’s made a grand entrance into an industry that is worth more than one billion dollars per year, with a mobile phone dating market worth $550 million.

“With consumers using the internet more than ever before, demand for online dating services is on the rise,” according to recent reports.

Learn how Lori is bridging the gap between real-world encounters and online dating and why you should live your dreams relentlessly.

Company: Cheek’d, Inc.
Founder(s): Lori Cheek, Locke Raper
Location: New York, NY
Industry: Online Dating
Startup Year: 2010
Startup Costs: $50,000

How I Got Started:

Living nearly half of my adult years as a single New Yorker searching for Mr. Right, I saw something missing in the seemingly saturated online dating market—a human touch.

One in five relationships supposedly start online. What about the other four?

A few years ago, I was out to dinner with a friend and architectural colleague. I excused myself from the table and when I returned, my handsome dinner date had scribbled on the back of his business card, “Want to have dinner?” As we were leaving the restaurant, he slid his card to an attractive woman at a nearby table.

It wasn’t quite a light bulb that appeared above my head — it was more like Giants stadium lighting.

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