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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 31, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Ex-Microsoftie and pals launch GoTime, a social nightlife network

After a year of development under the radar in Ballard, GoTime quietly launched its new nightlife social network on Wednesday.

The Web service includes a directory of bars, clubs and other venues plus listings of music shows and other events.

Users canset preferences, so the home page notifies them of shows they’d like. They can also use social networking tools on the site to invite friends to events.

GoTime is a city guide focused on answering the question, what is there to do tonight?” said co-founder Jeff Khadavi, 27, a former investment banker from New York.

“We’re not a social network,” he said, “but if you want to add your friends onto the site that will help you make better decisions about what’s going on.”

Khadavi was preparing to enter Columbia University’s graduate business school when he received a call from his high school friend. Josh Juster, an MIT graduate, worked at Microsoft on services such as Xbox Live, MSN Music and mobile search and had an idea for the business.

“I bought a one-way ticket to Seattle and came here to join him,” Khadavi said.

They were joined by Devang Kothari, another MIT graduate who was working in information security in New York.

They received $1.3 million in a round of angel funding in the first quarter – more than enough to get the business off the ground, Khadavi said.

The initial focus is on Seattle but they plan to extend the service to Portland next and then other cities.

There are a lot of event directories with social features, but maybe they’ll find a niche. Khadavi said it’s been well received by clubs that are looking for new ways to get the word out.

A mobile version will come eventually, but their first priority is finishing up the initial features.

Maybe they should hook up with UrbanSpoon, giving the restaurant finder’s events and happy hour type information, and getting onto UrbanSpoon’s nifty iPhone “shaker” application?

A partial screenshot from GoTime:

gotime.JPG

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