Tech Startup of the Week: Kahnoodle, An App to Keep Love Alive
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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Zuhairah Scott Washington founded Kahnoodle, an iPhone/iPod app to help couples have fun while working on their relationship (Image: Source)

Does technology kill relationships? Not so, says Zuhairah Scott Washington, 35, a Harvard-educated lawyer, who founded Kahnoodle in 2011 to help build sustainable relationships. The iPhone/iPod app uses gamification to intrinsically motivate lovers to speak each other’s “love languages.”

“I’m really passionate about Kahnoodle because 1) I really want my marriage to work, and 2) I didn’t come from a household that had a mom and a dad and a traditional nuclear family.  It’s important for me to create something to help build and sustain those types of relationships especially as it relates to black people,” explained Scott Washington who met her husband, when they both worked as associates at San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners (#2 on the BE 100s Private equity list with $4,400 million in capital under management).

The app has received numerous accolades from national media outlets that have applauded Kahnoodle as one of the most innovative companies of 2012 and one of the most profitable apps in the love and romance category. Her affiliate revenue business model has won pitch competitions with Distilled Intelligence, a startup competition in D.C.; Focus 100, a symposium and pitch competition for startups owned by black women; and she’s received an investment from Fortify VC, a D.C.-based pre-seed equity investment firm. Her reward for winning #FOCUS100: This summer she will be one of the finalists to compete in the country’s most popular accelerator, Tech Stars New York City.

Washington was inspired to create the app after reading “The 5 Love Languages,” a book by Gary Chapman that describes the different ways in which people want to give and receive love. The app is a fun way for couples to work together to keep their love tanks full, says Scott Washington, who describes it as a visualization of how much love you feel you’ve received from your partner.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.