Startup Spotlight: firstbite.tv
Each month, I’ve been writing about a hot new startup worth keeping your eye on. This is my second post in the series, which kicked off with Serendip Media.
The Huffington Post recently reported that there are more restaurants per capita in San Francisco than in any other city in the United States. It’s therefore no surprise that San Francisco breeds a plethora of self-proclaimed foodies. Dana Nguyen is one of them, and has turned her passion for food into a startup called firstbite.tv.
Dana’s positive experience working as a product marketing manager at Google has inspired her to start firstbite.tv, which is still in its early stages and is expected to consist of videos, photos, and reviews to help travelers find the best food around the world.
I sat down with Dana at a local San Francisco coffee shop to chat about the startup, which she plans to launch in the fall. True to foodie fashion, we discovered that we are both fans of American chef and TV host, Anthony Bourdain.
“He’s my hero,” Dana remarked. And by the sound of it, firstbite.tv will recreate the essence of Bourdain’s show, “No Reservations,” and transform it into an online medium. Only unlike the TV show, which tends to focus on only a few restaurants per destination, firstbite.tv will provide a heartier list of restaurants that cater to an array of palates.
Here’s more about what to expect from firstbite.tv:
How did the idea for firstbite.tv come about?
On her first trip to Vietnam, Dana realized that, like many foodies, the first item on her agenda when visiting a new country is to locate the best place to get some grub. And like many travelers, she didn’t know where to begin. In order to solve this foodie-traveler’s dilemma, she took matters into her own hands — and the idea of firstbite.tv was born. The name of the startup itself derived from this very issue. “I was always conflicted about where I should grab my ‘first bite,’” Dana said. And as far as the “.tv” part, she plans to develop a website that includes a variety of media and interactive content, akin to entertainment.
What will firstbite.tv entail?
Dana’s goal for firstbite.tv is to provide a trustworthy source of high-quality content that mixes travel and food. The website will be much more visual than content heavy, and will appear more like a magazine than a restaurant guide you get at hotels.
The site will be broken up by city, starting with San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo. The most visual component of the site will be photos of mouthwatering food. Dana calls it “a foodie’s drool-worthy magazine spread of photos, recommendations, and videos.” Each video will become a mini-lesson that gives users a better understanding of the food and culture associated with the dishes unique to each city. The site will also provide a best bite guide of where to eat, from little gems to five-star chef restaurants. Dana ensures that there will be something for everyone, whether you are an adventurous eater or like to keep it safe.
How is firstbite.tv different from current travel/food review sites such as Yelp?
“Yelp is great for residents,” Dana explained. But if you are new to a city or visiting for the first time, websites like Yelp can be too overwhelming, making it very difficult to decide where to eat. Firstbite.tv promises to offer just the right amount of content so that users have the option to decide where to eat — without feeling overwhelmed.
As a San Francisco local, what are your recommendations for visitors?
Dana highly recommends anyone living in or visiting San Francisco to grab a cup of joe at Blue Bottle Coffee, head to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market for goat cheese, taste fresh-baked bread from Acme Bread, and grab a porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti. She’s also a big fan of Tony’s Pizza, Smitten Ice Cream, Bob’s Donuts, and the taco truck, El Gallo Giro.
Now that we’ve got you drooling, sign up to become one of the first users at firstbite.tv! We’re starving to find out how it turns out. We’d also love to hear your tips and tricks for finding the best eats when you travel. Let us know on Twitter by mentioning @Conduit!