Santa Cruz Tech Beat

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17-year-old wants to take on Yelp, and has the seed funding to attempt it

By Jonathan Kauffman
SFGate

April 5, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

[Editor’s note: Santa Cruz Tech Beat published Not an ordinary high school student on March 2, 2017. April 6, 2017 update: TagDat was also covered by TechCrunch and The Next Web.]

TagDat is available through the Apple app store as of March 31, 2017

Some high school juniors go for debate. Others for volleyball. Jinyuan (Buffy) Li, who’s in her next-to-last year at Kirby Preparatory School in Santa Cruz, is spending her after-school hours looking for $4 million in seed funding.

Li, along with business partners Wilson Li (not related), 21, and Zhang Cai, 31, have already raised $280,000 in funding to date to build TagDat, a restaurant review app they are pitching as a competitor to Yelp.

Li got her first taste of extracurricular start-ups last summer working for her mother, who has been developing a social lifestyle app for Chinese women. There, she met Wilson Li, who is now a senior at Carleton College in Minnesota. The two, both food lovers, decided they could improve on review sites Yelp and TripAdvisor, by reducing the impact of users’ biases and avoiding the pressure that these companies may put on restaurants to advertise. “We stared an app that would eliminate that issue and be a lot more convenient when you’re searching,” Li says.

Continue reading article here: http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/17-year-old-wants-to-take-on-Yelp-and-has-the-11021175.php

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