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.â€
“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.Â It’s important for me to create something to help build and sustain those types of relationships especially as it relates to black people,â€ 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,â€ 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.